Juxtaposition of different-grade metamorphic slices is a typical feature of Phanerozoic orogens but is relatively scarce in Precambrian orogens. Here, we focus on the Chengde Complex at the northern segment of the late Paleoproterozoic Trans-North China Orogen, the North China Craton as a case, to explore how different-grade orogeny-related metamorphism was juxtaposed in Precambrian orogens. The Trans-North China Orogen is a typical Precambrian collisional orogen and records abundant information about the Paleoproterozoic orogeny. High-pressure (HP) mafic granulite and two types of amphibolite samples were collected from the Chengde Complex, and we conducted a combined study involving litho-structural assemblage investigation, metamorphic petrology, and geochronology to decipher their metamorphic P-T–t history.

HP mafic granulite and amphibolite occur as enclaves or dikes within felsic gneisses. HP mafic granulite records clockwise P-T paths with isothermal decompression (ITD) segments, and the peak metamorphic P-T conditions are 13.0−14.9 kbar/790−830 °C. Peak metamorphic P-T conditions retrieved from garnet-bearing amphibolite are 8.3 kbar/675 °C, whereas peak metamorphic P-T conditions retrieved from garnet-free amphibolite are 4.0−5.5 kbar/500−510 °C. Zircon U-Pb dating of HP granulite and amphibolite yield different prograde (1914−1871 Ma), peak (1869−1816 Ma), and retrograde (ca. 1830 Ma) metamorphic ages, and all of these data indicate that these metamorphic rocks were diachronously transferred to different depths in the subduction channel and subsequently exhumed at shallower crustal levels. Therefore, we conclude that the Chengde Complex is composed of imbricate rocks with different metamorphic grades and ages, and such an unordered juxtaposition of diverse metamorphism could also be a typical feature of Precambrian orogens.

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