The Kalatage inlier in the Dananhu-Haerlik arc is one of the most important arcs in the Eastern Tianshan, southern Altaids (or Central Asian orogenic belt). Based on outcrop maps and core logs, we report 16 new U-Pb dates in order to reconstruct the stratigraphic framework of the Dananhu-Haerlik arc. The new U-Pb ages reveal that the volcanic and intrusive rocks formed in the interval from the Ordovician to early Permian (445–299 Ma), with the oldest diorite dike at 445 ± 3 Ma and the youngest rhyolite at 299 ± 2 Ma. These results constrain the ages of the oldest basaltic and volcaniclastic rocks of the Ordovician Huangchaopo Group, which were intruded by granite- granodiorite-diorite plutons in the Late Ordovician to middle Silurian (445–426 Ma). The second oldest components are intermediate volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks of the early Silurian Hongliuxia Formation (S1h), which lies unconformably on the Huangchaopo Group and is unconformably overlain by Early Devonian volcanic rocks (416 Ma). From the mid- to late Silurian (S2-3), all the rocks were exhumed, eroded, and overlain by polymictic pyroclastic deposits. Following subaerial to shallow subaqueous burial at 416–300 Ma by intermediate to felsic volcanic and volcaniclastics rocks, the succession was intruded by diorites, granodiorites, and granites (390–314 Ma). The arc volcanic and intrusive rocks are characterized by potassium enrichment, when they evolved from mafic to felsic and from tholeiitic via transitional and calc-alkaline to final high-K calc- alkaline compositions with relatively low initial Sr values, (87Sr/86Sr)i = 0.70391–0.70567, and positive εNd(t) values, +4.1 to +9.2. These new data suggest that the Dananhu-Haerlik arc is a long-lived arc that consequently requires a new evolutionary model. It began as a nascent (immature) intra-oceanic arc in the Ordovician to early Silurian, and it evolved into a mature island arc in the middle Silurian to early Permian. The results suggest that the construction of a juvenile-to-mature arc, in combination with its lateral attachment to an incoming arc or continent, was an important crustal growth mechanism in the southern Altaids.

Gold Open Access: This paper is published under the terms of the CC-BY-NC license.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.