Re-Os isotopes of sulfides in mantle xenoliths from eastern China : Progressive modification of lithospheric mantle

Xisheng XU*, William L. GRIFFIN, Suzanne Y. O'REILLY, Norman J. PEARSON, Hongyan GENG, Jianping ZHENG

*Corresponding author for this work

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

126 Citations (Scopus)


In situ Re-Os isotopic data for sulfide grains in mantle-derived peridotite xenoliths from eastern China demonstrate a close temporal linkage between crustal tectonism and fluid-migration events in the subcontinental lithospheric mantle (SCLM). In the Cathaysia block, TRD and TMA ages of sulfides with 187Re/188Os < 0.11 cluster in four groups: Paleoproterozoic (∼ 1.8), Mesoproterozoic (∼ 1.3 to 1.5 Ga) and Neoproterozoic (0.9 Ga and 0.6 Ga), corresponding to known major crustal growth events. In the Sino-Korean block, the most robust TRD and TMA ages from sulfides, and some published whole-rock data, indicate that the earliest SCLM formed together with the oldest Archean crust and was modified in Paleoproterozoic time (ca 1.8 Ga), corresponding to the collision between the eastern and western parts of the block. Meso- to Neoproterozoic ages (ca 1.4 Ga, 0.9 Ga, 0.6 Ga) record younger thermal events, the latest of which also is known from zircon ages in lower-crustal xenoliths. The scarcity of Archean sulfide- and whole-rock model ages may reflect widespread Proterozoic modification of the SCLM, but may also be due to preferential sampling of young SCLM by volcanoes situated along zones of asthenospheric upwelling, controlled by a network of major shear zones. Widespread Mesozoic magmatism in the Cathaysia block may be represented by abundant mantle sulfides with mildly superchondritic 187Os/188Os and "future" model ages. This would imply that the sublithospheric mantle has developed a superchondritic Re/Os over perhaps the last 1 Ga, requiring its isolation from the convecting asthenosphere. The SCLM beneath eastern China has had a very complex history, and is now a mixture of refractory and fertile mantle domains with different ages, modified during a number of events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-64
Number of pages22
Issue number1-2
Early online date27 Jun 2007
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Eastern China lithospheric mantle
  • Mantle sulfides
  • Os isotopes
  • Re-Os mantle ages


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