Abstract

LA-ICP-MS U–Pb dating of Lower Devonian detrital zircon samples from three representative sections in the South China block yields dominant Grenvillian and Pan-African populations, similar to the age distribution of early Palaeozoic samples from Gondwana, the Tethyan Himalaya and West Australia, in particular. Hf isotopic compositions indicate the contributions of juvenile crust at 1.6 Ga and 2.5 Ga, and bear a resemblance to their counterparts from SE Australia and West Antarctica, revealing the mixed origin of the Pan-African and Grenvillian grains from juvenile magmas and melting of pre-existing crustal rocks. These results suggest that the South China block should be considered an integral part of East Gondwana in early Palaeozoic time, rather than a discrete continental block in the Palaeo-Pacific or a fragment of Laurentia.

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