The North China craton of central Asia is a natural laboratory for investigating early Earth tectonic processes including subduction and large-scale horizontal crustal motions. However, it remains unclear how and when the North China craton formed from the amalgamation of several blocks and orogens including the Archean Western and Eastern blocks, the late Archean Central Orogenic Belt, and the Paleoproterozoic Northern Margin orogen. In this study, we integrated new and existing geological field observations, zircon and baddeleyite U-Pb geochronology, whole-rock geochemistry, and Sr-Nd-C-O isotope analyses along the northern margin of the North China craton to improve our understanding of its late Archean−Paleoproterozoic tectonic evolution. Observations show the Wuchuan ultramafic-mafic complex of the Northern Margin orogen contains a mixture of mylonite gneiss, serpentinized ultramafic blocks, and amphibolite pyroxenite xenoliths. Geochronology and geochemistry results suggest that the ca. 2.55−2.5 Ga development of the Wuchuan ultramafic-mafic complex was associated with subduction, which was followed by ca. 2.39 emplacement of lamprophyre dikes during continental rifting. Subsequent Paleoproterozoic subduction magmatism, continental collision, and post-orogenic rifting between the North China craton and southern margin of the Siberian craton are evidenced by ca. 2.0 Ga arc granitoids, ca. 1.87−1.85 Ga A-type, garnet-bearing granitoids and mafic dikes, and ca. 1.86 carbonatite. Ca. 2.0 Ga collision and ca. 1.87−1.85 Ga rifting were coincident with orogen-normal left-slip shear. Our findings show that the ca. 1.9 Ga North China-Siberia collision was a key event during the assembly of the Columbia supercontinent that occurred via modern plate-tectonic processes.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| August 01, 2022
Late Archean−Paleoproterozoic plate tectonics along the northern margin of the North China craton
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Chen Wu, Guosheng Wang, Zhiguang Zhou, Xiaoqi Zhao, Peter J. Haproff; Late Archean−Paleoproterozoic plate tectonics along the northern margin of the North China craton. GSA Bulletin 2022; doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B36533.1
Download citation file: