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Formation of the Neoproterozoic ophiolites in southern China: New constraints from trace element and PGE geochemistry and Os isotopesa TEXT SIZE: A A A
The South Anhui ophiolite (SAO) and the Northeast Jiangxi ophiolite (NJO) are the only two known Precambrian ophiolite suites within the eastern segment of the Jiangnan Orogen, South China. These ophiolites may provide significant insights into the convergence history of the South China Block during the Rodinia supercontinent cycle. SHRIMP zircon U-Pb dating indicates that the SAO formed at 831 +/- 5 Ma whereas the NJO formed at ca. 1000 Ma. Modal mineral assemblages and the preservation of relict primary mineral assemblages indicate that serpentinized peridotites from both ophiolites were mainly harzburgite in protolith. Relict olivine and orthopyroxene fragments within both ophiolite suites yield similarly high Mg# values. The serpentinized peridotite samples yield U-shaped rare earth element patterns and contain high-Cr# spinel, both of which are indicative of supra-subduction zone ophiolites. However, serpentinized peridotites within the SAO contain olivine and clinopyroxene with slightly higher Mg# values, and have lower platinum-group element (PGE) and trace element concentrations than peridotites from the NJO. The SAO peridotites are also depleted in Ir, Pt, and Pd, in contrast to the flat and chondrite-like PGE patterns of the NJO peridotites. These observations indicate that compared with the NJO, SAO peridotites were subjected to a greater degree of melt extraction prior to emplacement.

Furthermore, gabbro and basalt from the SAO have N-MORB- or arc-like geochemical characteristics that reflect the incorporation of crustal materials into the mantle source, suggesting that this ophiolite formed in a continental marginal back-arc basin setting. In comparison, the less pronounced depletions in trace elements and PGEs, as well as the restricted Os-187/Os-188 isotopic compositions of NJO serpentinized peridotites, suggest that they formed in a fore-arc setting. The contrasting geochemical characteristics of the two ophiolite suites indicate that they were generated during distinct stages of convergence along the southeastern margin of the Yangtze Block. Our results show that ophiolite suites produced within a single orogenic cycle could preserve diverse geochemical characteristics, and may provide insights into the initiation and cessation of continental amalgamation.

Publication name

 PRECAMBRIAN RESEARCH, 309 88-101; SI 10.1016/j.precamres.2017.12.042 MAY 2018


 Sun, Zi-Ming; Wang, Xiao-Lei; Qi, Liang; Zhang, Feng-Feng; Wang, Di; Li, Jun-Yong; Yu, Ming-Gang; Shu, Xu-Jie

Corresponding author(s) 

 WANG Xiaolei 
 Nanjing Univ, Sch Earth Sci & Engn, State Key Lab Mineral Deposits Res, Nanjing 210046, Jiangsu, Peoples R China. 

Author(s) from IGCAS   QI Liang

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