Prototethyan Accretionary Orogenesis Along the East Gondwana Periphery: New Insights From the Early Paleozoic Igneous and Sedimentary Rocks in the Sibumasu

Yuejun Wang, Xin Qian, Peter A. Cawood, Yuzhi Zhang, Yang Wang, Xiaowan Xing, Vongpaseuth Senebouttalath, Chengshi Gan

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New geochronological and geochemical data document a new and widely distributed succession of igneous and sedimentary rocks within the Sibumasu that extend from SW Yunnan through SE Asia as far as Sumatra. Our data revealed the presence of an Ordovician-Silurian (mainly ∼490–430 Ma) igneous zone. The early Paleozoic granites in the zone display similar elemental and Sr–Nd–Pb–Hf isotopic compositions. They were derived from a common mixed source of ancient crustal materials with a juvenile component and formed in a subduction-related setting. Detrital-zircon U-Pb apparent ages from the previously defined Precambrian Lancang and Ximeng units in the SW Yunnan portion of the Sibumasu are in the range of 3,306–428 Ma and 3,316–512 Ma, with the youngest age-peaks of 505 Ma and 447 Ma, respectively, indicating the lower Paleozoic (Cambrian-Silurian) sedimentary sequences. The Tarutao Unit and its equivalents in the SE Asia portion of the Sibumasu yield the U-Pb apparent ages of 3,177–510 Ma, suggesting the maximum deposited time being Cambrian-Ordovician. All these detrital zircon U-Pb ages define two main peaks of ∼554–528 Ma and 964–905 Ma with εHf(t) values similar to those in the Qiangtang, Tethyan Himalaya, and eastern Indochina. The lower Paleozoic detritus in the Sibumasu were likely derived from the India-Antarctica region of East Gondwana. We propose that the late Cambrian-Silurian units formed in an outward-propagating accretionary orogen in response to the consumption of the Prototethyan Ocean in SW Yunnan and SE Asia. Sibumasu might represent a part of the easterly migrating accretionary orogen along the northern margin of East Gondwana in the late Cambrian-late Silurian.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020GC009622
Number of pages26
JournalGeochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • igneous and sedimentary rocks
  • outwardly propagating accretionary orogenesis
  • peripheral East Gondwana
  • Prototethyan consumption
  • Sibumasu

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