The southeastern (SE) South China Block was mainly influenced by the Paleo-Tethyan and Paleo-Pacific dynamic domains during the Mesozoic. The initial timing of the tectonic transition between these two domains in the SE South China Block still remains debated. The transition would affect the nature of the lithosphere and material provenance of sediments, and, therefore, igneous and sedimentary rocks in the area could record such dynamic processes. In this study, published geochronological and geochemical data of the Triassic and Jurassic igneous rocks and detrital zircon data of contemporaneous sedimentary rocks in the SE South China Block were compiled, aiming to provide constraints on the tectonic transition via tracing the spatial-temporal variations in the nature of the lithosphere and sedimentary provenance signals. The compiled results suggest that the magmatic intensity and volume decreased significantly from the Late Triassic to Early−Middle Jurassic, with an obvious magmatic quiescence between them, and increased from the Early−Middle Jurassic to Late Jurassic. The εNd(t) and zircon εHf(t) values of mafic rocks, granitoids, and shoshonitic rocks remarkably increased from the Late Triassic to Early−Middle Jurassic, indicative of variations in the lithospheric mantle and continental crust. Such variations suggest that the initial tectonic transition occurred at the earliest Early Jurassic. Based on the southward paleocurrents from Early Jurassic sandstone, E-W−trending extension of Early−Middle Jurassic mafic and shoshonitic rocks, and similar sedimentary provenances of Late Triassic and Early−Middle Jurassic sedimentary rocks, these features imply that the SE South China Block was not immediately influenced by the Paleo-Pacific domain during the Early−Middle Jurassic. However, from the Early−Middle Jurassic to Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous, the spatial distribution, geochemical signatures, magmatic intensity, and magmatic volume of igneous rocks and provenance of sedimentary rocks exhibit obvious variations, and the regional fold hinge direction changed from E-W−trending to NE-trending, suggesting significant effects from Paleo-Pacific subduction on the SE South China Block. Thus, the Mesozoic tectonic transition from the Paleo-Tethyan to the Paleo-Pacific dynamic domain in the SE South China Block likely occurred during the Early−Middle Jurassic.
Reappraisal of the Mesozoic tectonic transition from the Paleo-Tethyan to Paleo-Pacific domains in South China
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Chengshi Gan, Yuzhi Zhang, Yuejun Wang, Xin Qian, Yang Wang; Reappraisal of the Mesozoic tectonic transition from the Paleo-Tethyan to Paleo-Pacific domains in South China. GSA Bulletin 2021; doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B35755.1
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