High-pressure metamorphism and ophiolite emplacement (Songshugou ophiolite) attended suturing of the Yangtze craton to Rodinia during the c. 1.0 Ga Grenvillian orogeny. The Qinling microcontinent then rifted from the Yangtze craton at c. 750 Ma. The Erlangping intraoceanic arc formed in the Early Ordovician, was emplaced onto the Qinling microcontinent in the OrdoviciaN–Silurian, and then both units were accreted to the Sino-Korea craton before being stitched together by the c.400 Ma AndeaN–Style Qinling arc. Subsequent subduction beneath the Qinling-Sino-Korean plate created a Devonian-Triassic accretionary wedge that includes eclogites, and formed a coeval volcano-plutonic arc that stretches from the Longmen Shan to Korea. In the Late Permian-Early Triassic, the northern edge of the South China Block was subducted to >150 km depth, creating the diamond- and coesite-bearing eclogites of the Dabie and Sulu areas. Exhumation from the mantle by lithosphere-scale extension occurred between 245 and 195 Ma during clockwise rotation of the craton. The Yangtze-Sino-Korea suture locally lies tens of km north of the exhumed UHP–HP part of the South China Block, implying perhaps that the very tip of the South China Block was not subducted, or that the UHP–HP rocks rose as a wedge that peeled the upper crust of the unsubducted South China Block from the lower crust. The Tan–Lu fault is an Early Cretaceous to Cenozoic feature. The apparent offset of the Dabie and Sulu UHP terranes by the Tan–Lu fault is a result of this Cretaceous to Cenozoic faulting combined with post-collisional extension north of Dabie.
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Aspects of the Tectonic Evolution of China
The subject of this Special Publication is one of the most interesting in global geoscience, the tectonic evolution of China. The assemblage of terranes that underlie this part of the world provides outstanding opportunities to elucidate global processes, and many of the factors that shape the Earth's lithosphere are best exemplified by the geology of China and its immediately adjacent areas
In addition, there are geological features that are particular and unique to the region. Some have been the focus of recent attention and have attracted international interest because of their global importance. This volume provides accounts of up-to-date research by Chinese and international geological teams on key aspects of the tectonic evolution of China and its surrounding areas. The papers describe the formation of the geological terranes that make up this part of east Asia, place constraints on plate tectonic models for their assembly and provide accounts of unique geological feature of the subcontinent.