Abstract

The nature of source rocks and the pressure-temperature-hydration (P-T-H2O) condition are the two main factors that control the geochemical properties of granites. Therefore, the evolution of P-T-H2O conditions can be used to deduce the tectonic setting of granites. In this paper, we report on three Paleozoic granite plutons along the Shangdan suture that revealed increasing melting temperature and decreasing pressure from 437 to 403 Ma, suggesting a crustal thinning process. The Tieyupu granodiorites (437 ± 4 Ma) display Na-rich adakite affinity, i.e., SiO2 = 69.1–70.1 wt%, Na2O/K2O = 1.9–2.26, positive zircon εHf(t) values (+4.29 to +12.04), and high Sr/Y (137–160) and Y/Yb (9.89–10.25) ratios, implying a garnet-rich residue in their source. In combination with moderate zircon saturation temperatures (814–822 °C), we infer that the Tieyupu granodiorites were formed by melting of Neoproterozoic metabasites under high-pressure (>1.5 GPa) and moderate-temperature (HP-MT) conditions. The Liangchahe granodiorites (415 ± 8 Ma) also display Na-rich adakite affinity, i.e., higher Na2O/K2O (2.16–3.11) and lower Sr/Y (77–88) ratios, and higher zircon saturation temperatures (854–874 °C), and they are interpreted to have been derived from melting of metabasites under moderate-pressure (>1.0 GPa) and high-temperature (MP-HT) conditions. Their variable zircon εHf(t) values (−14.97 to +9.80) and the existence of zircon xenocrysts suggest that the primitive adakitic melts were assimilated by evolved crustal components. The Yaogou monzogranites (403 ± 4 Ma) have the highest K2O/Na2O (0.81–1.00) ratios and total rare earth element (ΣREE; 105–191 ppm) contents, lowest Sr/Y (14–43) ratios, positive zircon εHf(t) values (+6.79 to +12.22), and highest zircon saturation temperatures (891–973 °C), showing they were formed by high-temperature melting of intermediate rocks under low-pressure conditions (<1.0 GPa). The evolution of P-T conditions revealed by these three granites suggests that crustal growth and differentiation were related to gradual extensional and melting of mafic protoliths in the orogenic belt.

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