The Aqishan-Yamansu belt in the Chinese Eastern Tianshan represents a Paleozoic arc-related basin generally accompanied by accretionary magmatism and Fe-Cu mineralization. To characterize the tectonic evolution of such an arc-related basin and related magmatism and metallogenesis, we present a systematic study of the geochronology, whole-rock geochemistry, and Sr-Nd isotopes of igneous rocks from the belt. New zircon U-Pb ages, in combination with published data, reveal three phases of igneous activity in the Aqishan-Yamansu belt: early Carboniferous felsic igneous rocks (ca. 350–330 Ma), late Carboniferous intermediate to felsic igneous rocks (ca. 320–305 Ma), and Permian quartz diorite and diorite porphyry dikes (ca. 280–265 Ma). The early Carboniferous felsic rocks are enriched in large ion lithophile elements (LILEs) and depleted in Nb, Ta, and Ti, showing arc-related magma affinities. Their positive εNd(t) values (3.3–5.9) and corresponding depleted mantle model ages (TDM) of 0.83–0.61 Ga, as well as high MgO contents, Mg# values, and Nb/Ta ratios, suggest that they were derived from lower crust with involvement of mantle-derived magmas. The late Carboniferous intermediate igneous rocks show calc-alkaline affinities, exhibiting LILE enrichment and high field strength element (HFSE) depletion, with negative Nb and Ta anomalies. They have high MgO contents and Mg# values with positive εNd(t) values (3.9–7.9), and high Ba/La and Th/Yb ratios, implying a depleted mantle source metasomatized by slab-derived fluids and sediment or sediment-derived melts. The late Carboniferous felsic igneous rocks are metaluminous to peraluminous with characteristics of medium-K calc-alkaline I-type granites. Given the positive εNd(t) values (6.3–6.6) and TDM ages (0.56–0.53 Ga), we suggest the late Carboniferous felsic igneous rocks were produced by partial melting of a juvenile lower crust. The Permian dikes show characteristics of adakite rocks. They have relatively high MgO contents and Mg# values, and positive εNd(t) values (7.2–8.5), which suggest an origin from partial melting of a residual basaltic oceanic crust. We propose that the Aqishan-Yamansu belt was an extensional arc–related basin from ca. 350 to 330 Ma; this was followed by a relatively stable carbonate formation stage at ca. 330–320 Ma, when the Kangguer oceanic slab subducted beneath the Central Tianshan block. As the subduction continued, the Aqishan-Yamansu basin closed due to slab breakoff and rebound during ca. 320–305 Ma, which resulted in basin inversion and the emplacement of granitoids with contemporary Fe-Cu mineralization. During the Permian, the Aqishan-Yamansu belt was in postcollision extension stage, with Permian adakitic dikes formed by partial melting of a residual oceanic crust.

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