Syn-subduction arc magmatism is absent above continental subduction zones, providing important constraints on the nature of petrogenetic processes during continental collision. Nevertheless, we have identified syn-exhumation mafic igneous rocks in an active continental margin above a continental subduction zone, where the South China Block (SCB) was deeply subducted beneath the North China Block (NCB) for collisional orogeny in the Triassic. These mafic igneous rocks occur in the southeastern margin of the NCB, showing consistent Late Triassic zircon U-Pb ages of ca. 219–218 Ma, coeval with exhumation of the deeply subducted continental crust. These rocks are categorized into two series of sub-alkaline and alkaline, all exhibiting arc-like trace element distribution patterns, highly enriched radiogenic Sr-Nd-Hf and high zircon O isotope compositions. In particular, they exhibit two-stage whole-rock Nd and Hf model ages and zircon Hf model ages of Paleoproterozoic, which are comparable to those of ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic rocks with the SCB affinity in the Dabie-Sulu orogenic belt. Such geochemical features indicate that these mafic igneous rocks were derived from partial melting of ultramafic metasomatites generated by reaction of felsic melts from the subducted SCB with the mantle wedge peridotite beneath the NCB. The geochemical differences in element and isotope compositions between the two series igneous rocks can be mainly ascribed to different proportions of the crustal component in the metasomatites, which is verified by quantitative modellings of the geochemical transfer in the continental subduction zone. The systematic variations in some geochemical variables such as Fe/Mn, Zn/Fe, and Nb/Ta ratios indicate pyroxenite-rich and hornblendite-rich lithologies, respectively, for the sub-alkaline and alkaline series igneous rocks. With the tectonic extension for exhumation of the deeply subducted continental crust in the Late Triassic, the fertile and enriched metasomatites in the mantle wedge underwent partial melting for the syn-exhumation mafic magmatism in the southeastern NCB. Therefore, the mafic igneous rocks in the active continental margin not only record the crust-mantle interaction in the continental subduction zone, but also witness the generation of syn-exhumation magmatism in the late stage of continental collision.

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