Deciphering the formation and geodynamic evolution of high-pressure (HP) granulites in a collisional orogeny can provide crucial constraints on the geodynamic evolution of subduction-exhumation. To fully exploit the geodynamic potential of metamorphic rocks, it is necessary to constrain the metamorphic ages, although it is difficult to link zircon and monazite ages to metamorphic evolution. A good case study for understanding these geodynamic processes is felsic granulites in the Bashiwake area, South Altyn Tagh. Petrographic observations suggest that the studied felsic granulites have suffered multi-stage metamorphism, and the distinct metamorphic events were documented by compositional zoning and high Y+heavy rare earth element (HREE) concentrations in the large garnet porphyroblast. Zircon U-Pb dating yielded two major age clusters: one age cluster at ca. 900 Ma represents the age of the protolith for the felsic granulite, and another age cluster at ca. 500 Ma represents the post-UHT (ultrahigh temperature) stage based on the rare earth element distribution coefficients between zircon and garnet. Meanwhile, in situ monazites U-Pb dating yielded a weighted mean 206Pb/238U age of 482 ± 3.5 Ma, and the monazite U-Pb age was interpreted to be in agreement with the metamorphic zircon rims data, which together with zircon recorded the cooling time after the UHT stage. Whole-rock major and trace elements as well as Sr-Nd isotopes suggest that the protolith of the felsic granulite derived from partial melting of ancient crustal materials with the addition of mantle materials. Integrating these results along with previous studies, we propose that the felsic granulites metamorphosed from the Neoproterozoic granitic rocks, and the granitic rocks with associated mafic-ultramafic rocks suffered a common high-pressure−ultrahigh temperature (HP-UHT) metamorphism and subsequent granulite-facies metamorphism. A tentative model of subduction-relamination was proposed for the geodynamic evolution of the Bashiwake unit, South Altyn Tagh.
Petrological, geochronological, and geochemical potential accounting for continental subduction and exhumation: A case study of felsic granulites from South Altyn Tagh, northwestern China
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Yunshuai Li, Jianxin Zhang, Shengyao Yu, Yanguang Li, Hu Guo, Jian Zhang, Changlei Fu, Hui Cao, Mengqi Jin, Zhihui Cai; Petrological, geochronological, and geochemical potential accounting for continental subduction and exhumation: A case study of felsic granulites from South Altyn Tagh, northwestern China. GSA Bulletin doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B35459.1
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