Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry zircon U–Pb dating and geochemical data document the Early Devonian Sandaogou alkaline complex (409 Ma) from the northern margin of the North China craton. The rock suite includes pyroxene syenite, quartz syenite and monzonite. These rocks exhibit high contents of K2O (5–13 wt%), strong enrichments in large ion lithophile elements and light REE, slightly negative Eu anomalies, and pronounced depletions in high field strength elements. They are characterized by moderate 87Sr/86Sri ratios of 0.7052–0.7071, low εNd(t) values of −12.7 to −17.9 and zircon εHf(t) values from −27.8 to −32.3. These geochemical features and quantitative isotopic modelling suggest that they might have been formed through simultaneous fractional crystallization and lower crustal assimilation of a metasomatized mantle-derived alkali basaltic magma. These trachytic rocks, together with the Middle Devonian alkaline rocks and mafic–ultramafic complex from neighbouring regions, constitute a linear post-collisional magmatic belt along the northern North China craton, possibly formed under a tectonic regime of slab breakoff. They serve not only as a magmatic milestone for marking the termination of Early Palaeozoic orogenic cycle around the northern North China craton, but also as a spatial tracer for locating the position of the potential ancient slab breakoff at the surface.
Analytical methods, mineral composition data, field and zircon cathodoluminescence (CL) photographs are available at http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18403.