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Late Neoarchean crust-mantle geodynamics: evidence from Pingquan Complex of the Northern Hebei Province, North China Craton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Wei Wang, Shuwen Liu, Peter A. Cawood, Rongrong Guo, Xiang Bai, Boran Guo

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A late Neoarchean intra-oceanic arc along the northwestern margin of Eastern Block (EB), North China Craton, provides important insights into the nature of Archean mantle sources and crust-mantle geodynamics. The Pingquan Complex and the entire Northern Hebei Province (NHB) are located in the middle part of the arc, and overlap the northern extent of the Trans-North China Orogen. Zircon U-Pb isotopic age data reveal that the Pingquan Complex consists of ∼2537-2515 Ma dioritic gneisses, ∼2506-2503 Ma amphibolites, and ∼2491 Ma quartz monzodioritic to monzogranitic gneisses, and they show dominantly positive zircon εHf(t) (-0.6-+5.4) that are lower than coeval model depleted mantle values.
Geochemical data for the Pingquan rocks and synchronous metabasalts and granitoid gneisses of Huai’an-Xuanhua and Dantazi complexes in the NHB are integrated. Except for the monzogranitic gneisses that were derived from partial melting of juvenile metagreywackes, the other rocks of the Pingquan Complex were derived from a metasomatized lithospheric mantle, and subjected to variable fractionation of clinopyroxene, hornblende and plagioclase, without significant crustal contamination. Moderately depleted zircon εHf(t), and high Sm/Hf and Nb/Ta (mostly of 1.34-3.96 and 15.50-32.58) suggest that the lithospheric mantle was enriched by subducted pelagic sediments metamorphosed to rutile-bearing eclogites before melting.
Late Neoarchean crust-mantle geodynamic processes in the NHB are reconstructed. Intra-oceanic subduction initiated offshore of the northwestern margin of the EB at ∼2.55 Ga or earlier. Partial melting of slab basalts occurred at ∼2542-2499 Ma, with the melts contaminated by mantle wedge materials forming TTGs. Meanwhile, the sub-arc lithospheric mantle was enriched by fluids and melts released from slab basalts and pelagic sediments, and partial melting of this moderately depleted mantle generated ∼2537-2503 Ma diorites and basalts. Following final accretion of the arc onto the continental margin of the EB, the slab rollback/breakoff and asthenospheric mantle upwelling triggered partial melting of the metasomatized lithospheric mantle and crustal anatexis, generating ∼2491 Ma quartz monzodioritic and monzogranitic rocks. Accordingly, the NHB records Neoarchean crustal growth linked to oceanic subduction and arc-continent accretion, and highlights the importance of resolving the nature of mantle sources and crust-mantle interactions in understanding Archean crustal growth and evolution.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-493
JournalPrecambrian Research
Early online date13 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

    Research areas

  • Late Neoarchean crustal growth, Sediment recycling and crust-mantle interaction, Arc-continent accretion, Pingquan Complex of Northern Hebei Province, North China Craton

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