The Songshugou ophiolite, located in the northern Qinling belt, consists mainly of metamorphosed mafic and ultramafic rocks recording details of deformation and metamorphism that occurred during subduction, accretion, and collision along the Shangdan suture in the Qinling orogenic belt. Electron backscatter diffraction measurements revealed that the harzburgites are dominated by olivine C-type crystal preferred orientations (CPOs), which were possibly induced by high pressure during slab subduction. Olivine A-type CPOs were also observed in some harzburgites, representing the remnants of the original fabric in oceanic mantle rocks formed in the spreading center of the Shangdan ocean. Coarse-grained dunites are characterized by B-type CPOs, which may have been caused by melt-rock reactions and/or high water contents in a suprasubduction-zone setting during exhumation. Fine-grained dunites are also dominated by B-type CPOs, suggesting that grain-size reduction related to mylonitization did not result in fabric variations. Combined with the mineral assemblages, application of geothermometry suggested that the Songshugou ophiolite has experienced metamorphism and deformation under amphibolite-facies conditions. Zircons from garnet-bearing amphibole schist are characterized by flat heavy rare earth element (HREE) patterns and low Th/U ratios and yielded a mass spectrometry U-Pb age of 500.5 ± 8.8 Ma, representing the peak metamorphic age of the metamafic rocks. Other zircons displayed relative HREE enrichment and a clearly negative Eu anomaly and gave an age of 492.5 ± 3.0 Ma, constraining the time of the exhumation of the ophiolite. Integrated with all the available regional geology, our new fabric, geochemical, and geochronological data suggest that the tectonic evolution of the Songshugou ophiolite can be proximately constrained as subduction at ca. 500 Ma and exhumation at ca. 492 Ma.
Fabrics, geothermometry, and geochronology of the Songshugou ophiolite: Insights into the tectonic evolution of the Shangdan suture, Qinling orogen, China
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Shengsi Sun, Yunpeng Dong, Xiaoming Liu, Dengfeng He, Chao Cheng; Fabrics, geothermometry, and geochronology of the Songshugou ophiolite: Insights into the tectonic evolution of the Shangdan suture, Qinling orogen, China. Lithosphere doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/L1032.1
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