Petrogenesis of the Dalongkai ultramafic-mafic intrusion and its tectonic implication for the Paleotethyan evolution along the Ailaoshan tectonic zone (SW China)
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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.Layered ultramafic-mafic intrusions are usually formed in an arc/back-arc or intra-plate tectonic environment, or genetically related to a mantle plume. In this paper, we report on an ultramafic-mafic intrusion, the Dalongkai intrusion in the Ailaoshan tectonic zone (SW China), whose occurrence is closely associated with arc/back-arc magmatic rocks. The Dalongkai intrusion is composed of plagioclase-lherzolite, hornblende-peridotite, lherzolite and wehrlite at the bottom, cumulate plagioclase-pyroxenite at the middle part, changing to fine-grained gabbro towards the upper part of the intrusion, forming layering structure. Zircons from the plagioclase-pyroxenites and gabbros yielded U-Pb ages of 272.1±1.7Ma and 266.4±5.8Ma, respectively. The plagioclase-pyroxenites show cumulate textures, and are characterized by high MgO (25.0-28.0wt.%; mg# =80.6-82.3), Cr (1606-2089ppm) and Ni (893-1203ppm) contents, interpreted as early cumulate phases. By contrast, the gabbros have relatively lower mg# values (56.3-62.7), and Cr (157-218ppm) and Ni (73-114ppm) concentrations, and may represent frozen liquids. The plagioclase-pyroxenites and gabbros share similar chondrite-normalized REE patterns and primitive mantle-normalized trace element profiles which are analogous to those of typical back-arc basin basalts. The eNd(t) values for both rock types range from +2.20 to +4.22. These geochemical and isotopic signatures suggest that the Dalongkai ultramafic-mafic rocks originated from a MORB-like mantle source metasomatized by subduction-related, sediment-derived fluids. Our data, together with other geological evidence, indicate that the emplacement of the Dalongkai ultramafic-mafic intrusion most likely occurred in a back-arc extensional setting associated with subduction of the Ailaoshan Paleotethyan branch ocean during the Middle Permian, thus ruling out the previously speculated linkage to the Emeishan mantle plume, or to an intra-continental rift.
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