Eclogites represent the highest pressure conditions yet observed from rocks thrust to the surface in the central Himalaya. A detailed investigation of the protolith nature of these eclogites is needed to better understand pre-Himalayan geological history. Retrogressed eclogites were collected from Thongmön (Dingri County) and Riwu (Dinggye County), central Himalaya, China. We investigated the bulk rock major and trace elements, Sr-Nd isotopes, zircon geochronology, and Hf-O isotopes. These retrogressed eclogites experienced five stages of metamorphic evolution from prograde amphibolite-facies to peak eclogite-facies, and high pressure granulites-facies, granulites-facies then final amphibolite-facies overprinting during exhumation. Geochemically, they are subalkaline basalts with high FeO contents and a tholeiitic affinity; trace elements show similarities with enriched mid-ocean ridge basalts. Bulk rocks have a wide range of εNd(t) values from −0.24 to +7.08, and an unusually wide range of initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios of 0.705961−0.821182. Zircon relict magmatic cores from both Thongmön and Riwu eclogites yield a consistent protolith age of ca. 1850 Ma, with enriched heavy rare earth element patterns and significant negative Eu anomalies. These relict cores have oxygen isotopes signatures of δ18O = 5.8−8.1‰, εHf(t) values of −4.85 to +9.59, and two-stage model ages (TDM2) of 1.91−2.81 Ga. Metamorphic overgrowth zircons yield much younger ages of ca. 14 Ma. Integration of all of the above data suggests that the protolith of these central Himalayan retrogressed eclogites might be Proterozoic continental flood basalts of the North Indian Plate, generated under a post-collisional extension setting during the assembly of the Columbia Supercontinent. Occurrence of both Neoproterozoic−early Paleozoic rocks and ca. 1.85 Ga rocks in the regional crystalline rocks may reflect either unrecognized sub-horizontal Main Central Thrust exposure(s) or exhumation of a deeply cut part of the Greater Himalayan Crystalline complex. In combination with previous reports of Late Cretaceous, Neoproterozoic, and similar but younger Paleoproterozoic protolith, it is clear that the central Himalayan eclogites originate from multiple sources of protolith.

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