Geochemical similarities between the continental crust and arc magmas have led to the inference that subduction zones may be the primary sites of crustal growth. Thus, it is necessary to unravel the petrogenetic mechanism(s) of granitoid generation in subduction-related settings to understand crustal growth through magmatic differentiation processes. In this study, we focused on granitoid generation in oceanic-continental subduction zones. We analyzed the whole-rock geochemistry and Sr-Nd isotopes, together with zircon U-Pb-Hf-O isotopes, of the newly identified Middle Triassic granitoids in the Ailaoshan high-grade metamorphic complex (Yunnan, SW China). All the studied granite samples were characterized by large ion lithophile element (e.g., Rb, Sr, and Ba) enrichments and high field strength element (e.g., Nb, Ta, and Ti) depletions, similar to arc-type rocks. They also showed a range of whole-rock Sr-Nd, (87Sr/86Sr)i = 0.7020–0.7048, εNd(t) = +0.6 to +4.2, and zircon Hf-O, εHf(t) = +10.3 to +18.1, δ18Ozircon = 5.09‰–6.65‰, isotope compositions, which overlap with those of previously reported coeval (ca. 237–235 Ma) hornblende diorite and granodiorite, the formation of which was interpreted to have originated from a mantle wedge metasomatized by a sediment-derived melt. Furthermore, the fractionation trends of some of the granitic samples and diorite-granodiorite suite overlap. They can be divided into two geochemical groups: Group 1 has intermediate to high SiO2 (66.9–73.8 wt%) and K2O (3.40–5.42 wt%) and low MgO (0.19–1.09 wt%) contents and shows depletion in heavy rare earth elements (HREEs; e.g., Yb and Y), resulting in adakite-like high Sr/Y (61–183) and La/Yb (47–90) ratios. Group 1 shows positive SiO2 versus Sr/Y and La/Yb correlations and negative SiO2 versus HREE and Y correlations, implying fractionation of a garnet-bearing assemblage. The negative correlations between SiO2 and εNd(t) and Nb/La reveal a crustal assimilation trend. Group 2 has relatively high SiO2 (72.6–76.5 wt%) and low K2O (1.93–3.82 wt%) and MgO (0.05–0.83 wt%) contents and shows depletion in middle REEs (MREEs; e.g., Gd and Dy) with low Sr/Y (1–10) and La/Yb (4–11) ratios. Group 2 granites show negative Gd/Yb versus SiO2 correlation, which indicates significant fractionation of an amphibole-bearing assemblage.

Our results suggest that both group 1 and 2 granites were formed in a subduction setting from a common mantle-derived parental dioritic magma, but they experienced two distinct fractionation processes. While group 1 granites were likely formed by crustal assimilation and high-pressure (lower-crustal) garnet-dominated fractionation, group 2 granites were generated through low-pressure (middle-/upper-crustal) amphibole-/plagioclase-dominated fractionation. We suggest that these two fractionation trends are critical to crustal growth and the development of a more fractionated (felsic) upper crust.

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