Abstract

Detrital zircons are often used to constrain the maximum sedimentary age of strata and sedimentary provenance. This study aimed at reconstructing the Cryogenian palaeogeography of the Yangtze Domain based on U–Pb ages and Lu–Hf isotopic signatures of detrital zircons from sandstones in the southeastern part of the Yangtze Domain. U–Pb ages of the youngest detrital zircon grains from the Niuguping, Gucheng and Datangpo formations yielded average ages of 712±24 Ma, 679.2±6.2 Ma and 665.1±7.4 Ma, respectively, which are close to the depositional ages of their respective formations. An integrated study of detrital zircon Lu–Hf isotopes and U–Pb ages from three samples revealed six main peak ages in the samples from the Anhua section at c. 680 Ma, c. 780 Ma, c. 820 Ma, c. 940 Ma, c. 2000 Ma and c. 2500 Ma. The characteristics of the U–Pb ages and Hf isotopes indicate a link between the north and southeast margins of the Yangtze Domain as early as c. 680 Ma, and the provenance of the coeval sedimentary sequences in the SE Yangtze Domain was the South Qinling Block on the northern margin of the Yangtze Domain. The provenance analysis on the c. 680 Ma detritus composing upper Neoproterozoic strata in the Yangtze Domain revealed that the detritus was transported southward from South Qinling to the southeast margin of the Yangtze Domain through the Exi Strait, but was hindered by the Jiangnan Orogenic Belt.

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