The subduction of the Bangong–Nujiang Ocean is important in the geological evolution of the Tibetan Plateau. In this paper, we report new zircon U-Pb age and Lu-Hf isotopic data and whole-rock elemental and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic data for Early Cretaceous dacites from the Rena-Co area (RCA) in the southern Qiangtang Terrane (QT), central Tibet and use these data to better understand the tectonic evolution of the Bangong–Nujiang suture. LA–ICP-MS dating of zircons yields ages of 109.5 ± 0.6 Ma to 109.6 ± 0.8 Ma for the dacites from the RCA. Geochemically, these dacites are medium-K calc-alkaline and show high SiO2 contents of 64.79–70.37 wt.%, high Sr contents of 517–598 ppm and low Y contents of 8.45–10.7 ppm, similar to those of typical adakites. Additionally, all the rocks are strongly enriched in light rare earth elements and some large ion lithophile elements (e.g. Rb, U, K and Cs) but significantly depleted in high-field-strength elements (e.g. Nb, Ta and Ti), consistent with the geochemical characteristics of arc-type magmas formed in the subduction zone. Moreover, these adakite-like dacites show whole-rock initial (87Sr/86Sr)i ratios of 0.705119 to 0.705491, (206Pb/204Pb)i ratios of 18.489 to 18.508, (207Pb/204Pb)i ratios of 15.591 to 15.612, (208Pb/204Pb)i ratios of 38.599 to 38.686, ϵNd(t) values of −0.28 to +1.25 and single-stage Nd model ages of 642 to 818 Ma, as well as significantly positive zircon ϵHf(t) values of 3.9–13.1, with young Hf-depleted mantle ages of 331 to 923 Ma. These geochemical and isotopic data indicate that they are most likely derived from the juvenile thickened mafic lower continental crust, which contains partial melts of metasomatized peridotite and subduction-related fluids in the magma source region. Based on previous studies and our new data, we propose that the RCA adakite-like dacites are most likely a result of the northwards subduction of the Bangong–Nujiang Ocean lithosphere beneath the southern QT during the Early Cretaceous and that a slab rollback model could explain the formation of the RCA adakite-like dacites.

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