Claystone beds directly below and above the Emeishan basalts in SW China formed around the Guadalupian-Lopingian (G − L) boundary. Zircons from both levels give U–Pb ages of ~ 260 Ma, and are identical within-error to ages reported for the Emeishan Large Igneous Province (LIP). The claystones lack Nb − Ta anomalies on primitive mantle normalized elemental diagrams; zircons from these claystones have a geochemical affinity to within-plate-type magmas. These features, combined with the strong negative Eu anomalies in the zircons and high Al2O3/TiO2 ratios, indicate that claystones around the G − L boundary have a silicic volcanic component related to Emeishan LIP. Zircons from the underlying claystone bed have much higher U/Yb and Th/Nb ratios and lower εHf(t) values than those overlying the LIP, suggesting that early-stage silicic volcanic rocks had a higher crustal contamination or assimilation during magmatic processes. In terms of stratigraphic correlation, our data demonstrate that silicic eruptions occurred not only at the end, but also at the beginning of the Emeishan LIP, and the overall duration of the main basaltic phase was short (< 1 m.y).
- Emeishan large igneous province
- Guadalupian − Lopingian boundary
- Silicic volcanism