Abstract

The Hengshan–Wutai–Fuping belt is located in the middle segment of the Trans-North China Orogen, a Palaeoproterozoic continental collisional belt along which the Eastern and Western blocks amalgamated to form the North China Craton. The belt consists of the medium- to high-grade Hengshan and Fuping gneiss complexes and the intervening low- to medium-grade Wutai granite–greenstone terrane, and most igneous rocks in the belt are calc-alkaline and have affinities to magmatic arcs. Previous tectonic models assumed that the Hengshan and Fuping gneiss assemblages were an older basement to the Wutai supracrustal rocks, but recent studies indicate that the three complexes constitute a single, long-lived Neoarchaean to Palaeoproterozoic magmatic arc where the Wutai Complex represents an upper crustal domain, whereas the Hengshan and Fuping gneisses represent the lower crustal components forming the root of the arc. The earliest arc-related magmatism in the belt occurred at 2560–2520 Ma, marked by the emplacement of the Wutai granitoids, which was followed by arc volcanism at 2530–2515 Ma, forming the Wutai greenstones. Extension driven by widespread arc volcanism led to the development of a back-arc basin or a marginal sea, which divided the belt into the Hengshan–Wutai island arc (Japan-type) and the Fuping relict arc. At 2520–2480 Ma, subduction beneath the Hengshan–Wutai island arc caused partial melting of the lower crust to form the Hengshan tonalitic–trondhjemitic–granodioritic (TTG) suites, whereas eastward-directed subduction of the marginal sea led to the reactivation of the Fuping relict arc, where the Fuping tonalitic–trondhjemitic–granodioritic suite was emplaced. In the period 2360–2000 Ma, sporadic phases of isolated granitoid magmatism occurred in the Hengshan–Wutai–Fuping region, forming 2360 Ma, c. 2250 Ma and 2000–2100 Ma granitoids in the Hengshan Complex, the c. 2100 Ma Wangjiahui and Dawaliang granites in the Wutai Complex, and the 2100–2000 Ma Nanying granitoids in the Fuping Complex. At c. 1920 Ma, the Hengshan–Wutai island arc underwent an extensional event, possibly due to the subduction of an oceanic ridge, leading to the emplacement of pre-tectonic gabbroic dykes that were subsequently metamorphosed, together with their host rocks, to form medium- to high-pressure granulites. At 1880–1820 Ma, the Hengshan–Wutai–Fuping arc system was juxtaposed, intensely deformed and metamorphosed during a major and regionally extensive orogenic event, the Lüliang Orogeny, which generated the Trans-North China Orogen through collision of the Eastern and Western blocks. The Hengshan–Wutai–Fuping belt was finally stabilized after emplacement of a mafic dyke swarm at 1780–1750 Ma.

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