A possible transition from island arc to continental arc magmatism in the eastern Jiangnan Orogen, South China: Insights from a Neoproterozoic (870–860 Ma) gabbroic–dioritic complex near the Fuchuan ophiolite
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The Fuchuan ophiolite belt in the eastern Jiangnan Orogen of South China provides important constraints on the tectonic setting and evolution of the Neoproterozoic suture zone between the Yangtze and Cathaysia blocks. Combined U-Pb-Hf isotopic and REE analysis of zircon from gabbroic and dioritic samples of the Shexian complex, located 10 km southwest of the main Fuchuan ophiolite body, indicate that the complex crystallized at ca. 870–860 Ma with a large variation of zircon eHf(t) values from - 4.80 to + 13.30. Whole-rock geochemistry reveals that the magma mainly experienced fractionation of olivine, clinopyroxene and plagioclase and was partly affected by crustal contamination, which resulted in elevated Th/Nb, Th/La and La/Sm ratios, as well as the scattered eHf(t) values. The most mafic and least contaminated sample shows MORB affinity and was probably formed by partial melting of a depleted subduction-metasomatized mantle wedge. Other samples exhibit arc-like signatures and were probably modified by both melt- and fluid-related subduction metasomatism. The emplacement of the Shexian complex corresponds to the time that subduction switched from a ca. 1000–880 Ma intra-oceanic island arc to a 870–830 Ma continental arc along the southeastern Yangtze Block. The sequence of igneous rocks associated with this continental arc resemble those preserved in forearc Tethyan ophiolites, with magma evolving from ca. 870–860 Ma MORB to ca. 860–850 Ma arc tholeiite and ca. 830 Ma boninite. Arc magmatism concluded with the final assembly of the Yangtze and Cathaysia blocks at 830–800 Ma.
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