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Type: Journal article
Title: Building of the deep Gangdese arc, South tibet: Paleocene plutonism and granulite-facies metamorphism
Author: Zhang, Z.
Dong, X.
Xiang, H.
Liou, J.
Santosh, M.
Citation: Journal of Petrology, 2013; 54(12):2547-2580
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 0022-3530
Statement of
Zeming Zhang, Xin Dong, Hua Xiang, J.G. Liou and M. Santosh
Abstract: The Nyingchi complex, forming the eastern segment of the Gangdese magmatic arc, occurs within the southern Lhasa terrane in south Tibet, and is composed dominantly of plutons and their metamorphosed equivalents.Together with some metasedimentary units these rocks record multiple Mesozoic and Cenozoic magmatic and metamorphic events during northward subduction of Neo-Tethyan oceanic lithosphere beneath the Eurasian continent. Petrological and geochronological studies reveal that the Nyingchi complex experienced intense Paleocene subduction-related magmatism and almost synchronous granulite-facies metamorphism accompanied by the formation of S-type granites. Subduction-related I-type granitoids show geochemical features typical of continental magmatic arcs; zircon separates from them yield ²⁰⁶Pb/²³⁸U ages from c. 65 to c. 56 Ma, and commonly display positive εHf(t) values ranging from -1·7 to 13·0.The occurrence of magmatic epidote, as well as the syn-intrusion high-grade metamorphism, indicates that the plutons were emplaced at middle to lower crustal depths within the Lhasa terrane. Associated S-type granitoids are peraluminous and contain garnet and muscovite; their zircons yield ²⁰⁶Pb/²³⁸U ages ranging from c. 66 to c. 55 Ma, and these have distinct but mostly negative eHf(t) values from -18·4 to +2·1.The zircons from the associated metasedimentary rocks include both detrital and metamorphic types; the detrital zircons yielded variable inherited ²⁰⁶Pb/²³⁸U ages ranging from c. 2910 to c. 235 Ma, constraining the maximum depositional age to the Triassic. The metamorphic zircons from the metaplutonic and metasedimentary rocks yielded ages from c. 67 to 52 Ma. Phase equilibria modeling shows that the Nyingchi complex experienced peak granulite-facies metamorphism and partial melting under conditions of 800-830°c and 9-10·5 kbar, and then cooled isobarically to c. 700°c in the lower crust at depths of >30 km.We argue that rollback of the flat-subducted Neo-Tethyan oceanic slab during Early Paleogene times resulted in a contractional orogeny and intrusion of voluminous mantle-derived magmas, which caused large-scale crustal heating, partial melting and granulite-facies metamorphism within the deep crust of the Gangdese arc. The Nyingchi complex represents the exposed lower crust of the Gangdese magmatic arc, and links the granulite-facies metamorphism with silicic magmatism and crustal growth during Paleocene arc accretion.
Keywords: Gangdese magmatic arc; crustal growth; granulite; S-type granite; SouthTibet
Rights: © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail:
DOI: 10.1093/petrology/egt056
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