Lithosphere beneath the Evolving Tianshan Orogen: Constraints from Xenoliths

Nancy Hui Chun Chen, Peter A. Cawood, Yoshiyuki Iizuka

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The Ortosuu and Uchkuduk regions of the Tianshan orogen contain a volumetrically small series of basaltic rocks erupted primarily during the late Mesozoic-Paleogene. Petrology, chemical composition, and P-T geotherm data from xenoliths within the basalts characterize the nature of the lithospheric mantle beneath this orogenic belt. Two groups of clinopyroxene can be identified from the studied xenoliths based on their Mg# and trace element patterns. Group 1, primitive clinopyroxenes, has lower Mg# (86–90) and LREE-depleted patterns than group 2, depleted clinopyroxenes, which are characterized by a relatively high Mg#, 91–92, and LREE-enriched patterns. The REE distribution in group 1 clinopyroxenes suggests that they were controlled by partial melting, whereas group 2 clinopyroxenes are far more complex involving partial melting degrees of 6–11%, and later metasomatism by carbonatite and/or silicate melts. Coupled P-T estimations from geothermobarometry indicate that the more fertile group 1 xenoliths were probably derived from the uppermost mantle, and the more depleted group 2 xenoliths were likely derived from a depth close to the crust mantle boundary.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6253194
Number of pages14
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2022

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