Abstract

Two types of metasedimentary rocks occur in the Trans-North China Orogen of the North China Craton. One type consists of highly metamorphosed supracrustal rocks with protoliths of mature cratonic shale, called khondalites, as found in the Lüliang Complex; rocks of the other type are also highly metamorphosed but less mature, as represented by the Wanzi supracrustal assemblage in the Fuping Complex. U–Pb isotopic data for detrital zircons from khondalites show a provenance dominated by 1.9–2.1 Ga Palaeoproterozoic rocks. These detrital zircons display a wide range of εHf values from −16.0 to +9.2 and give Hf isotopic model ages mostly around 2.3 Ga. The high positive εHf values approach those for the depleted mantle at 2.1 Ga, highlighting a juvenile crustal growth event in Palaeoproterozoic times. Hf isotopic data also imply that c. 2.6 Ga old crustal material was involved in the Palaeoproterozoic magmatic event. These data are similar to those for the khondalitic rocks from the interior of the Western Block of the North China Craton, suggesting a common provenance. In contrast, other metasedimentary rocks in the Trans-North China Orogen, such as the Wanzi supracrustal assemblage in the Fuping Complex, have a source region with both Palaeoproterozoic and Archaean rocks. Their detrital zircon Hf isotopic data indicate reworking of old crustal material and a lack of significant juvenile Palaeoproterozoic magmatic input. These rocks are similar to the coevally deposited meta-sedimentary rocks in the interior of the Eastern Block. We propose that the Lüliang khondalites were deposited on the eastern margin of the Western Block in a passive continental margin environment and were thrust eastward later during collision with the Eastern Block. Other metasedimentary rocks in the Trans-North China Orogen were deposited on the western margin of the Eastern Block in a continental arc environment. Our data support the eastward subduction model for the Palaeoproterozoic tectonic evolution of the North China Craton.

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