Abstract

The eastern segment of the Central Tianshan Tectonic Zone in northwestern China includes the Proterozoic metasedimentary Xingxingxia complex. Because these rocks have been extensively deformed and metamorphosed to greenschist or amphibolite facies, a geochemical and Nd isotopic study was undertaken to constrain their provenance and tectonic setting, as well as to evaluate the effects of weathering and sedimentary processes on the source rock signature. Major- and trace-element data indicate that these samples are characterized by negative Eu anomalies, low chemical index of alteration values, and high index of compositional variability values. Chemical index of alteration values and the plot of molecular proportions Al2O3–(CaO* + Na2O)–K2O suggest low degrees of weathering of the source. They are compositionally immature and poorly sorted. Geochemical data and immobile elemental ratios, for example Al2O3/TiO2, Cr/Th, Eu/Eu* and (La/Yb)n, indicate that the clastic materials were derived predominantly from felsic sources. Sedimentary tectonic discrimination diagrams demonstrate that most of the samples of the Xingxingxia complex were deposited on an active continental margin or continental island-arc setting. Rare-earth element distributions, εNd(t) values (calculated at 1.20 Ga, varying from –3.00 to +6.1), TDM model ages (ranging from 1.30 to 2.30), and t – εNd(t) plot, indicate that sediments of the Proterozoic Xingxingxia complex were derived from varying degrees of mixing between Paleoproterozoic crust and juvenile materials with the former predominating. There is an increased flux of juvenile materials from Weiya in the east through Dikar to Kumishi. The secondary juvenile source may be 1.2 Ga arc-magma materials.

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