Geochemical, Sr-Nd and zircon U-Pb-Hf isotopic studies of Late Carboniferous magmatism in the West Junggar, Xinjiang : Implications for ridge subduction?

Hongyan GENG, Min SUN*, Chao YUAN, Wenjiao XIAO, Weisheng XIAN, Guochun ZHAO, Lifei ZHANG, Kenny WONG, Fuyuan WU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

442 Citations (Scopus)


Voluminous granitic intrusions are distributed in the West Junggar, NW China, and they can be classified as the dioritic rocks, charnockite and alkali-feldspar granite groups. The dioritic rocks (SiO2 = 50.4-63.8 wt.%) are calc-alkaline and Mg enriched (average MgO = 4.54 wt.%, Mg# = 0.39-0.64), with high Sr/Y ratios (average = 21.2), weak negative Eu (average Eu*/Eu = 0.80) and pronounced negative Nb-Ta anomalies. Their Sr-Nd and zircon Hf isotopic compositions ((87Sr/86Sr)i = 0.7035-0.7042, εNd(t) = 4.5-7.9, εHf(t) = 14.1-14.5) show a depleted mantle-like signature. These features are compatible with adakites derived from partial melting of subducted oceanic crust that interacted with mantle materials. The charnockites (SiO2 = 60.0-65.3 wt.%) show transitional geochemical characteristics from calc-alkaline to alkaline, with weak negative Eu (average Eu*/Eu = 0.75) but pronounced negative Nb-Ta anomalies. Sr-Nd and zircon Hf isotopic compositions ((87Sr/86Sr)i = 0.7037-0.7039, εNd(t) = 5.2-8.0, εHf(t) = 13.9-14.7) also indicate a depleted source, suggesting melts from a hot, juvenile lower crust. Alkali-feldspar granites (SiO2 = 70.0-78.4 wt.%) are alkali and Fe-enriched, and have distinct negative Eu and Nb-Ta anomalies (average Eu*/Eu = 0.26), low Sr/Y ratios (average = 2.11), and depleted Sr-Nd and zircon Hf isotopic compositions ((87Sr/86Sr)i = 0.7024-0.7045, εNd(t) = 5.1-8.9, εHf(t) = 13.7-14.2). These characteristics are also comparable with those of rocks derived from juvenile lower crust. Despite of the differences in petrology, geochemistry and possibly different origins, zircon ages indicate that these three groups of rocks were coevally emplaced at ~ 305 Ma. A ridge subduction model can account for the geochemical characteristics of these granitoids and coeval mafic rocks. As the "slab window" opened, upwelling asthenosphere provided enhanced heat flux and triggered voluminous magmatisms: partial melting of the subducting slab formed the dioritic rocks; partial melting of the hot juvenile lower crust produced charnockite and alkali-feldspar granite, and partial melting in the mantle wedge generated mafic rocks in the region. These results suggest that subduction was ongoing in the Late Carboniferous and, thus support that the accretion and collision in the Central Asian Orogenic Belt took place in North Xinjiang after 305 Ma, and possibly in the Permian.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-389
Number of pages26
JournalChemical Geology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Central Asian Orogenic Belt
  • Geochemistry
  • Granite
  • Junggar
  • Sr-Nd-Hf isotopes
  • U-Pb zircon


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