Detrital zircon U-Pb dating and whole-rock Nd isotopic analyses were carried out on selected stratigraphic horizons across a major unconformity between synrift and postrift stages in the Songliao Basin and Dasanjiang basin group of NE China to constrain the crustal evolution of the source area providing detritus into these basins. The strata underlying the mid-Cretaceous unconformity in the Songliao Basin show regionally distinct detrital zircon age populations and Nd isotopic compositions, which generally are characterized by Phanerozoic age peaks and relatively depleted Nd isotopic compositions, indicating derivation from nearby highlands. In contrast, the overlying strata are dominated by Proterozoic zircon ages and enriched Nd isotopic compositions, which imply that the provenance source region shifted to the northern part of the North China craton. A coeval provenance change also affected the sedimentary architecture in the eastern Dasanjiang basin group, marking the migration of erosion centers from west to east. The contribution from Lesser Xing’an−Zhangguangcai ranges was pronounced during deposition of synrift strata but became negligible afterward in the Songliao and Dasanjiang areas, which is consistent with both basin complexes temporarily forming an extensive lake system during the early Late Cretaceous. This paleolake was likely responsible for transgressive events recorded in the Late Cretaceous strata of basins in NE China. Combining observations from seismic reflection profiles and the stratigraphic record of neighboring intracontinental sedimentary basins as well as widespread contemporaneous exhumation and denudation events, we suggest that the provenance variation in basin strata was controlled by large-scale tectonic transitions in East Asia. The switch from extension to contraction during the mid-Cretaceous is attributed to the docking of the Okhotomorsk block along the East Asian continental margin. The resulting lithospheric buckling might have been responsible for reshaping the basin-and-range configuration in NE Asia.
Provenance changes across the mid-Cretaceous unconformity in basins of northeastern China: Evidence for an integrated paleolake system and tectonic transformation
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Shuang-Qing Li, Song He, Fukun Chen; Provenance changes across the mid-Cretaceous unconformity in basins of northeastern China: Evidence for an integrated paleolake system and tectonic transformation. GSA Bulletin doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B35660.1
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