Early Paleoproterozoic magmatism in the Yangtze Block: Evidence from zircon U-Pb ages, Sr-Nd-Hf isotopes and geochemistry of ca. 2.3 Ga and 2.1 Ga granitic rocks in the Phan Si Pan Complex, north Vietnam

Tianyu Zhao, Peter A. Cawood, Jian Wei Zi, Kai Wang, Qinglai Feng, Quyen Minh Nguyen, Dung My Tran

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Our understanding of the early evolution of the Yangtze Block is limited by the sparsely dispersed nature of pre-Neoproterozoic exposures. New, integrated petrographic, zircon U-Pb age and Hf-Nd isotope analyses, and whole-rock geochemical data for early Paleoproterozoic granites in the Phan Si Pan Complex provides new insights into the evolution of the Yangtze Block as well as its role in the Pre-Nuna supercontinent. LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb dating of magmatic zircons from quartz monzonite and gneissic granite yielded 207 Pb/ 206 Pb ages of 2306 ± 12 Ma and 2096 ± 15 Ma, respectively. Zircons from the quartz monzonite have ε Hf(t) values ranging from −4.1 to −2.1, corresponding to T DM2 model ages of 3002–2890 Ma, whereas zircons in the gneissic granite have ε Hf(t) values between −0.95 and +1.72 and corresponding T DM2 model ages of 2660–2516 Ma, which are consistent with their whole-rock Nd isotope values. Geochemically, the quartz monzonites are I-type granites. Combined with their relatively high Sr/Y ratios and low Y concentrations, as well as fractionated REE patterns with relatively high LREE but low HREE concentrations, they were probably generated by partial melting of the thickened middle-lower crust under elevated temperature. Geochemical and isotopic signatures suggest that the ca. 2.1 Ga gneissic granites are high-K calc-alkaline, ferroan A-type granites formed by partial melting of juvenile crustal source at high temperature and low pressure with little involvement of ancient crustal material. The Phan Si Pan complex has a distinct early Paleoproterozoic crustal evolution history compared with the other crustal provinces of the Yangtze Block, suggesting independent histories that were not unified until the late Paleoproterozoic during the assembly of Nuna. Moreover, the magmatism and tectonic evolution of the north Vietnam region is broadly similar to that of the Arrowsmith Orogen of the Rae craton in Laurentia suggesting a potential spatial linkage. The geologic record of the Yangtze Block does not support an early Paleoproterozoic shutdown of plate tectonics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-268
Number of pages16
JournalPrecambrian Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Early Paleoproterozoic
  • Geochemistry
  • Nuna supercontinent
  • Yangtze Block
  • Zircon U-Pb-Hf isotopes

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