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Polyphase subduction and exhumation of the Sulu high-pressure–ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic terrane

By
Zhiqin Xu
Zhiqin Xu
Key Laboratory for Continental Dynamics, Ministry of Land and Resources, Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing, 100037, China
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Lingsen Zeng
Lingsen Zeng
Key Laboratory for Continental Dynamics, Ministry of Land and Resources, Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing, 100037, China
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Fulai Liu
Fulai Liu
Key Laboratory for Continental Dynamics, Ministry of Land and Resources, Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing, 100037, China
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Jingsui Yang
Jingsui Yang
Key Laboratory for Continental Dynamics, Ministry of Land and Resources, Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing, 100037, China
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Zeming Zhang
Zeming Zhang
Key Laboratory for Continental Dynamics, Ministry of Land and Resources, Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing, 100037, China
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M. McWilliams
M. McWilliams
Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-2115, USA
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J.G. Liou
J.G. Liou
Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305-2115, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2006

Four structural-metamorphic zones separated by ductile shear zones comprise the Sulu high- to ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic terrane. From south to north, they are the southern high-pressure zone (0.2–0.4 GPa, 350–400 °C), the central very high-pressure zone (1.5–2.5 GPa, 500–600 °C), the northern ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) zone (>2.8 GPa, 650–800 °C) dominated by paragneiss, and the northern UHP zone dominated by granitic gneiss. Exhumation was associated with retrograde amphibolite- to greenschist-facies metamorphism and oblique southeastward ductile extrusion within the subduction channel. Geologic observations and seismic reflection profiles suggest an eroded asymmetric antiformal slab intruded by numerous Mesozoic granitic plutons. Zircon U/Pb ages indicate that peak metamorphism in the UHP zone occurred at 240–220 Ma, and 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology documents later exhumation at 220–200 Ma. In contrast, in the high-pressure zone, peak metamorphism and exhumation ages are older than 253 Ma and 253–240 Ma, respectively, by the same mineral. Together with previous results, these new data suggest that subduction and exhumation of different parts of the Yangtze slab occurred at different times, depending upon vertical variations in the physical properties of the subducted continental crust.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

Ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism: Deep continental subduction

Bradley R. Hacker
Bradley R. Hacker
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William C. McClelland
William C. McClelland
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J.G. Liou
J.G. Liou
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Geological Society of America
Volume
403
ISBN print:
9780813724034
Publication date:
January 01, 2006

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