Latest Paleoproterozoic (ca. 1.8–1.6 Ga) magmatic rocks outcrop in the Dunhuang terrane, represented by A-type granites and mafic (basaltic) rocks that have metamorphosed into amphibolites. The A-type granites, emplaced at ca. 1.79–1.77 Ga, are geochemically characterized by high Na2O + K2O, Fe2O3T, Zr, Nb, and Ce contents, as well as high Fe2O3T/( Fe2O3T + MgO) and Ga/Al ratios. Furthermore, they have Nb/Ta, Y/Nb, Rb/Nb, and Sc/Nb ratios of 12.10–15.56, 1.45–1.79, 3.52–6.51, and 0.11–0.19, respectively, showing affinity to A2-type granite. The A-type granites have negative εNd(t) values (-5.4 to -4.8) with Neoarchean depleted mantle (TDM2) ages (2591–2494 Ma), corresponding to coupling between εHf(t) values (-4.85 to -0.92) and (TDM2 ages (2817–2556 Ma) of zircons. Therefore, the A-type granite pluton was mostly generated by partial melting of Neoarchean tonalitic to granodioritic basement rocks of the Dunhuang Complex in a postcollisional tectonic setting following a late Paleoproterozoic continent-continent collisional event. The metamafic rocks have a protolith age of 1605 ± 45 Ma and metamorphic age of 317 ± 20 Ma, indicating a Paleozoic tectonic event. The metamafic rock samples are geochemically characterized by relatively high alkali (Na2O + K2O = 4.39–4.81 wt%) contents and low Nb/Y (0.63–0.66) ratios, and they show steep rare earth element (REE) patterns with light REE enrichment and insignificant Eu anomalies and Nb-Ta, Zr-Hf, and Ti anomalies, resembling subalkaline oceanic-island basalt affinity. They have positive εNd(t) values (+0.8 to +1.8) close to the chondrite evolutionary line and variable εHf(t) values (-1.09 to +9.06) of zircons. Hence, the protolith of the metamafic rocks may have been produced by magma mixing processes between a depleted mantle source and a metasomatized lithospheric mantle source during the initial rifting stage in an extensional setting, completing the formation of the Precambrian Dunhuang Complex. Considering the ca. 1.85–1.80 Ga regional metamorphism in the Dunhuang terrane, the latest Paleoproterozoic (ca. 1.8–1.6 Ga) A2-type granitic magmatism and mafic magmatism documented the postorogenic to initial rifting processes following the global-scale late Paleoproterozoic collisional event, which is comparable with ca. 1.80–1.67 Ga postcollisional and ca. 1.60–1.53 Ga anorogenic magmatism in the North China craton, but different from that of the Tarim craton.

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