Abstract

The Adaatsag ophiolite in eastern Mongolia is situated in the Mongol–Okhotsk suture zone, which extends from central Mongolia through Transbaikalia to the Sea of Okhotsk and separates the Siberian and Amurian (Mongolian) plates. The ophiolite sequence passes upwards from serpentinite mélange and serpentinized dunite and harzburgite, through layered gabbro (with leucogabbro pegmatite dykes), wehrlite and clinopyroxenite, to isotropic gabbro and leucogabbro, sheeted mafic dykes, and olivine-rich basaltic lavas, overlain by red chert and meta-clastic sediments. A single-zircon mean 207Pb/206Pb evaporation age of 325.4 ± 1.1 Ma for a leucogabbro pegmatite dyke records the time of igneous crystallization of the plutonic suite, and thus the time of formation of oceanic crust in the Mongol–Okhotsk ocean that gave rise to the ophiolite. A U–Pb secondary ionization mass spectrometry (SIMS) and evaporation zircon age of 172 Ma for a mylonitized granite provides a maximum age for the left-lateral Muron shear zone, which occurs close to the left-lateral Mongol–Okhotsk suture, and indicates that the suture in eastern Mongolia formed at least by the mid-Jurassic. We review the evidence and models for subduction tectonics that gave rise to major calc-alkaline batholiths along active continental margins of the bordering plates and to extensive, post-collisional, alkaline to peralkaline magmatism. Whereas the magmatic history of the orogen is better known, the age of the ocean, and the time of formation and deformation of the suture zone are not. Our new data on the Adaatsag ophiolite and Muron shear zone provide key constraints on the early and late stages of development of the Mongol–Okhotsk ocean and orogen.

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