Abstract

Recent research on Paleo-Tethys tectonics has identified a huge late Paleozoic to Mesozoic igneous belt that extends more than 2500 km in the northeast Tibetan Plateau. However, the magma genesis and evolution in this belt remains a subject of considerable debate. This paper presents a combination of zircon U-Pb ages, mineral compositions, major and trace element concentrations, and Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic data for the plutons across the Zhiduo arc belt that marks the site connecting different tectonic-magmatic units. The studied rocks from one quartz diorite, two granodiorite plutons, and their mafic enclaves define a continuous compositional evolution varying from high- to medium-K calc-alkaline gabbroic diorite to granodiorite. Laser ablation–inductively coupled plasma–mass spectroscopy U-Pb analyses of zircons from these three plutonic suites and one mafic enclave yield Late Triassic ages of 222–217 Ma, establishing that the mafic and felsic magmas were nearly coeval. All these rocks are featured by zoned hornblende and plagioclase with Mg- and Ca-rich mantles or oscillatory change in compositions. They exhibit high and variable MgO (up to 4.88–5.66 wt%), Cr, and Ni contents except that one granitoid pluton (Dangjiangrong) possesses high Co (up to 145.0 ppm). They are characterized by subduction-type trace element patterns, with prominent positive Rb, Th, Pb, and K anomalies and negative Ba, Nb, P, and Ti. Together with continuous and heterogeneous Sr-, Nd-, and zircon Hf-isotopic compositions, it suggests that these Late Triassic high-Mg diorites and associated granitoids were generated through magma mixing and fractional crystallization accompanied by chemical exchange. Taking into account the magmatic record from nearby regions, we suggest that double-sided subduction and rollback of the subducting Paleo-Tethys oceanic slab is the main mechanism to generate geochemically-varied magmatism in the northeast Tibetan Plateau, and eventually close the Paleo-Tethys Ocean during much of the Late Triassic.

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