Linking south China to northern Australia and India on the margin of Gondwana: Constraints from detrital zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopes in Cambrian strata

Yajun Xu, Peter A. Cawood, Yuansheng Du, Lisha Hu, Wenchao Yu, Yanhui Zhu, Wenchao Li

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99 Citations (Scopus)


Cambrian sedimentary rocks in the southern part of the South China Craton were derived from a source that lay to the south or southeast, beyond the current limits of the craton and which is no longer preserved nearby. U-Pb ages and Hf isotope data on detrital zircons from the Cambrian sequence define two distinctive age peaks at 1120 Ma and 960 Ma, with εHf(t) values for each group identical to the coeval detrital zircons from Western Australia and the Tethyan Himalaya zone, respectively. The circa 1120 Ma detrital zircons were most likely derived from the Wilkes-Albany-Fraser belt between southwest Australia and Antarctica, whereas the circa 960 Ma detrital zircons could have been sourced from the Rayner-Eastern Ghats belt between India and Antarctica. Derivation of detritus from these sources suggests that south China was located at the nexus between India, Antarctica, and Australia, along the northern margin of East Gondwana during the Cambrian. Key Points Cambrian sandstones in south China were derived from an exotic source Source is the Wilkes-Albany-Fraser and Rayner-E Ghats belts in East Gondwana South China was located at the nexus between India, Antarctica, and Australia

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1547-1558
Number of pages12
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Cambrian
  • detrital zircon
  • Gondwana
  • south China

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