Knowledge of the subduction to postcollision tectonic transition in response to oceanic closure is crucial for tracking the final stage of orogenic evolution. Here, we report new geochronology, geochemistry, and isotopic data for Carboniferous magmatism in East Junggar (NW China), southwestern Central Asian orogenic belt, which may record such processes following the closure of the Kalamaili Ocean (a branch of the Paleo-Asian Ocean). The early Carboniferous calc-alkaline volcanic rocks (dominated by basalt and basaltic andesite) yielded zircon U-Pb ages of ca. 340−330 Ma and are characterized by arc-like trace-element patterns showing enrichment of light rare earth elements (LREEs) and large ion lithophile elements (LILEs; e.g., Pb) but depletion of high field strength elements (HFSEs; e.g., Nb, Ta, and Ti). Combined with their variable Ba/Nb (9.80−454) and low Nb/La (0.21−0.54) and Sm/Yb (1.77−3.08) ratios as well as depleted mantle−like Sr-Nd-Pb-Hf (whole-rock 87Sr/86Sri = 0.7037−0.7040; ɛNd[t] = +3.5 to +5.9; 206Pb/204Pbi = 17.728−17.996; zircon ɛHf[t] = +11.8 to +18.8) isotopic values, we suggest that they were produced by melting of a lithospheric mantle wedge fluxed by slab-derived fluids under spinel-facies conditions. With whole-rock 40Ar/39Ar dating of ca. 320 Ma, the late Carboniferous mafic dikes have geochemical features and Sr-Nd-Pb (87Sr/86Sri = 0.7039−0.7041; ɛNd[t] = +6.6 to +6.8; 206Pb/204Pbi = 17.905−17.933) isotopic compositions similar to those of the early Carboniferous volcanics, but they show less pronounced Pb anomalies and negative Nb and Ta anomalies. They are interpreted to have formed by partial melting of a spinel-bearing lithospheric mantle metasomatized by limited influx of subduction-related fluids. The late Carboniferous felsic volcanic rocks (dacite and rhyolite) yielded zircon U-Pb ages of ca. 305 Ma and are geochemically equivalent to those of A2-type granites in East Junggar. They have juvenile isotopic compositions (ɛNd[t] = +4.5 to +6.8; ɛHf[t] = +13.3 to +18.7) and relatively young Nd and Hf model ages that roughly coincide with the ages of the ophiolites in the area, suggesting that they could have originated from melting of a juvenile basaltic lower crust. Whole-rock geochemistry, assimilation−fractional crystallization (AFC), and isotopic mixing modeling argue for insignificant crustal contamination for the Carboniferous magmatism. We suggest that the early Carboniferous lavas erupted in an island-arc setting related to the northward subduction of the Kalamaili oceanic crust, whereas the late Carboniferous magmatism formed in a postcollisional extensional regime in response to slab breakoff or lithospheric delamination. Combined with regional geological information, we propose that a rapid tectonic transition from oceanic subduction to postcollisional extension may have occurred in East Junggar during the Carboniferous, marking the final closure of the Kalamaili Ocean, which most likely took place ca. 330−320 Ma. This study provides overall geochronological and petrogeochemical evidence to better constrain the amalgamation of the southwestern Central Asian orogenic belt and may be of great importance for understanding the final stage of orogenic evolution elsewhere.
Rapid transition from oceanic subduction to postcollisional extension revealed by Carboniferous magmatism in East Junggar (NW China), southwestern Central Asian orogenic belt
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Jian Wang, Yuping Su, Jianping Zheng, E.A. Belousova, Ming Chen, Hongkun Dai, Liang Zhou; Rapid transition from oceanic subduction to postcollisional extension revealed by Carboniferous magmatism in East Junggar (NW China), southwestern Central Asian orogenic belt. GSA Bulletin 2021; doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B36074.1
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