Early Paleozoic trondhjemites, gneissic granites and alkali granites in southern Yunnan preserve important records of the tectonic evolution of the Prototethyan Ocean and regional correlations. Zircon ages suggest that these granitoids were emplaced from 476 to 436 Ma. The trondhjemites are characterized by high Na2O and low K2O contents, with εNd(t) values of −1.9 to −3.5 and εHf(t) values of −2.8 to +3.9. The trondhjemites were derived from an amphibolite source with a juvenile mafic component. The gneissic granites belong to the metaluminous low-K calc-alkaline series with an εNd(t) value of −6.2 and εHf(t) values of −5.0 to −0.4. The alkali granites belong to the high-K calc-alkaline series and yield εNd(t) values of −10.1 to −10.7 and εHf(t) values of −7.9 to −2.3. The gneissic granites were derived from an ‘ancient' lower mafic crust, whereas the alkali granites were derived from a meta-sedimentary source. These granitoids were formed during the subduction of the Prototethyan Ocean beneath the Simao Block and can be compared with similar igneous rocks from the Truong Son and Tam Ky-Phuoc Son zones in southern Laos. Our study, along with Early Paleozoic igneous suites from southern Laos, central Vietnam and the Malay Peninsula, suggests an arc–back-arc system along the northern margin of Gondwana.

Supplementary material: Tables of zircon U–Pb and in-situ Hf and geochemical data are available at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5322386

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