Continental flood basalts of the Huashan Group, northern margin of the Yangtze block – implications for the breakup of Rodinia
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It is generally accepted that Neoproterozoic extension and dispersal of the supercontinent Rodinia was associated with mantle plume or superplume activities. However, plume-generated contemporaneous continental flood basalts (CFBs) have rarely been identified. In this study, we present geochronological and geochemical evidence for the basalts from the Liufangzui Formation of the Huashan Group in the Dahongshan region of east-central China. A representative sample yields a SHRIMP U–Pb zircon age of 824 ± 9 Ma, interpreted as the crystallization age of the rocks. Geochemically, these basalts belong to the subalkaline tholeiite series and display slight enrichments in light rare earth elements (LREE) and varying degrees of deficiency of high field strength elements (HFSE) such as Nb, Ta, and Ti. This pattern is very similar to that of CFBs from the Bikou Group and Tiechuanshan Formation in the northwestern Yangtze block in China and Siberia in Russia. The basaltic magmas underwent partially-fractional crystallization during ascent, but were not intensely influenced by crustal contamination. The characteristic element ratios and negative Hf isotopic analyses (ϵHf(t) = −6.6–2.6) in zircons indicate that the parental magmas of the basalts might have been derived from an enriched lithospheric mantle rather than from the depleted mantle such as normal mid-ocean ridge basalts (N-MORBs).The geochemical signatures and regional geological characteristics show that these basalts were formed along intraplate continental rifts rather than in island arcs or ocean basins. Considering the coeval basic volcanic rocks in South China, we propose that these Huashan Group basalts represent the remnants of plume-generated CFBs and have close spatiotemporal ties with a coeval basic igneous province in Australia. Our results support the Neoproterozoic location of the South China block adjacent to southeastern Australia in the reconstruction model of the supercontinent Rodinia.
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Variable involvements of mantle plumes in the genesis of mid-Neoproterozoic basaltic rocks in South China: A reviewWang, Xuan-ce; Li, X.; Li, W.; Li, Zheng-Xiang (2009)Ca. 825-720 Ma global continental intraplate magmatism is generally linked to mantle plumes or a mantle superplume that caused rifting and fragmentation of the supercontinent Rodinia. Widespread Neoproterozoic igneous ...
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