The Zhanbuzhale region, in the Eastern Kunlun Orogen of northwestern China, is characterized by large volumes of Phanerozoic granitoid rocks and is an ideal region for investigating the tectonic evolution of the Paleo-Tethys system. However, the exact timing of the final closure of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean and initial continental collision remains controversial because of a lack of precise geochronological and detailed geochemical data. In this paper, we report new zircon U–Pb ages and mineralogical, petrographic, and geochemical data for samples of Middle Triassic granodiorite and alkali feldspar granite from the Zhanbuzhale region. The zircon U–Pb ages indicate that the granodiorite and alkali feldspar granite formed at 239 and 236 Ma, respectively. The granodiorites are high-K calc-alkaline, metaluminous, high Sr content, high Sr/Y ratios, low Y content, and show adakite-like affinities. The alkali feldspar granites display high SiO2, extremely low MgO, and low Zr+Nb+Ce+Y contents as well as low Fe2O3t/MgO ratios, showing metaluminous to peraluminous and high-K calc-alkaline features. Geochemical and petrological characteristics of the alkali feldspar granites suggest that they are highly fractionated I-type granites. The granodiorites and alkali feldspar granites have zircon εHf(t) values ranging from –2.26 to –0.18, and from –2.17 to +2.18, respectively. Together with regional geological data, we propose that the Triassic (approximately 239–236 Ma) granitoids were generated during the later stages of northward subduction of the Paleo-Tethys oceanic plate, and that the initial stage of collision between the East Kunlun and the Bayan Har–Songpan Ganzi terrane occurred at approximately 236–227 Ma.

You do not currently have access to this article.