Recent research on Paleo-Tethys tectonics has identified a huge late Paleozoic to Mesozoic igneous belt that extends more than 2500 km in the northeast Tibetan Plateau. However, the magma genesis and evolution in this belt remains a subject of considerable debate. This paper presents a combination of zircon U-Pb ages, mineral compositions, major and trace element concentrations, and Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic data for the plutons across the Zhiduo arc belt that marks the site connecting different tectonic-magmatic units. The studied rocks from one quartz diorite, two granodiorite plutons, and their mafic enclaves define a continuous compositional evolution varying from high- to medium-K calc-alkaline gabbroic diorite to granodiorite. Laser ablation−inductively coupled plasma−mass spectroscopy U-Pb analyses of zircons from these three plutonic suites and one mafic enclave yield Late Triassic ages of 222−217 Ma, establishing that the mafic and felsic magmas were nearly coeval. All these rocks are featured by zoned hornblende and plagioclase with Mg- and Ca-rich mantles or oscillatory change in compositions. They exhibit high and variable MgO (up to 4.88−5.66 wt%), Cr, and Ni contents except that one granitoid pluton (Dangjiangrong) possesses high Co (up to 145.0 ppm). They are characterized by subduction-type trace element patterns, with prominent positive Rb, Th, Pb, and K anomalies and negative Ba, Nb, P, and Ti. Together with continuous and heterogeneous Sr-, Nd-, and zircon Hf-isotopic compositions, it suggests that these Late Triassic high-Mg diorites and associated granitoids were generated through magma mixing and fractional crystallization accompanied by chemical exchange. Taking into account the magmatic record from nearby regions, we suggest that double-sided subduction and rollback of the subducting Paleo-Tethys oceanic slab is the main mechanism to generate geochemically-varied magmatism in the northeast Tibetan Plateau, and eventually close the Paleo-Tethys Ocean during much of the Late Triassic.

This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.
You do not currently have access to this article.