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Evolving mantle sources in postcollisional early Permian-Triassic magmatic rocks in the heart of of Tianshan Orogen (western China)

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Gong-Jian Tang, Peter A. Cawood, Derek A. Wyman, Qiang Wang, Zhen-Hua Zhao

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Magmatism post-dating the initiation of continental collision provides insight into the late stage evolution of orogenic belts including the composition of the contemporaneous underlying subcontinental mantle. The Awulale Mountains, in the heart of the Tianshan Orogen, display three types of post-collisional mafic magmatic rocks. (1) a medium to high K calc-alkaline mafic volcanic suite (∼ 280 Ma), which display low La/Yb ratios (2.2 – 11.8) and a wide range of εNd(t) values from +1.9 to +7.4. This suite of rocks was derived from melting of depleted metasomatized asthenospheric mantle followed by upper crustal contamination. (2) Mafic shoshonitic basalts (∼ 272 Ma), characterized by high La/Yb ratios (14.4 – 20.5) and more enriched isotope compositions (εNd(t) = +0.2 – +0.8). These rocks are considered to have been generated by melting of lithospheric mantle enriched by melts from the Tarim continental crust that was subducted beneath the Tianshan during final collisional suturing. (3) Mafic dikes (∼ 240 Ma), with geochemical and isotope compositions similiar to the ∼280 Ma basaltic rocks. This succession of post-collision mafic rock types suggests there were two stages of magma generation involving the sampling of different mantle sources. The first stage, which occurred in the early Permian, involved a shift from depleted asthenospheric sources to enriched lithospheric mantle. It was most likely triggered by the subduction of Tarim continental crust and thickening of the Tianshan lithospheric mantle. During the second stage, in the middle Triassic, there was a reversion to more asthenospheric sources, related to post-collision lithospheric thinning.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4110-4122
Number of pages13
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number11
Early online date24 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

    Research areas

  • Post-collisional, Mantle evolving, Basalt, Shoshonite, Tianshan Orogen

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