The Qinling Orogen, located between the North and South China Blocks, records subduction-collisional orogeny along the Paleozoic Shangdan and Triassic Mianlue sutures, and Mesozoic intracontinental orogenesis, which all played an important role in building the present tectonic framework and topography. The strike-slip Shagou ductile shear zone that overprints the Paleozoic Shangdan suture between the North and South Qinling Belts is crucial for understanding the Mesozoic intracontinental deformation in the Qinling Orogen. The microstructures, asymmetrical fabrics, and kinematic vorticities (0.81–0.95) suggest sinistral simple shear. The quartz c-axis patterns from felsic mylonites exhibit Y-maximum fabrics, indicating the activity of prism <a> slip, while those from amphibole-rich mylonites display both Y-maximum and Z-maximum fabrics showing the combined activity of prism <a> and basal <a> slip systems. In the mafic mylonites, the plagioclase fabrics were induced by combined (010)[100] and (001)[100] slip systems, while the amphibole fabrics were probably related to anisotropic growth or passive rotation of rigid clasts. Equilibrium P–T conditions of 4.28–6.12 kbar and 646–727 °C estimated from geothermobarometry suggest that the main deformation occurred under amphibolite facies conditions at middle–lower crustal depths. Zircon U-Pb ages constrain their protolith rocks to have crystallized at 816 ± 25 Ma and 726–718 Ma, while the intense mylonitization and sinistral shearing occurred at ca. 200–187 Ma. A U–Pb zircon age of 132 ± 3 Ma from a granitic dike cutting the foliation and an amphibole 40Ar/39Ar plateau age of 119.0 ± 0.9 Ma from mylonites together suggest that the Shagou shear zone evolved through decompression and exhumation stages in the time period of 132–119 Ma.

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