Tectonothermal history of the basement rocks in the western zone of the North China Craton and its tectonic implications

Guochun Zhao, Simon A. Wilde, Peter A. Cawood, Liangzhao Lu

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310 Citations (Scopus)


The basement of the North China Craton can be divided into the eastern, central and western zones, based on lithological, structural, metamorphic and geochronological data. The western zone comprises two different petrotectonic units: Archean tonalitic-trondhjemitic-granodioritic (TTG) grey gneisses and metamorphic mafic rocks, and Palaeoproterozoic khondalite series. The former is characterized by isobaric cooling (IBC)-type anticlockwise P-T paths in the north-northwestern part of the zone and near-isothermal decompression (ITD)-type clockwise P-T paths in the eastern part, adjacent to the central zone. On the other hand, the tectonothermal evolution of Palaeoproterozoic khondalite series rocks is characterized exclusively by nearly isothermal decompression following the peak of metamorphism and then cooling, defining clockwise P-T paths. The Archean TTG gneisses and associated mafic rocks with anticlockwise metamorphic P-T paths reflects an origin related to underplating and intrusion of mantle-derived magmas which may be derived from mantle plumes. They represent a late Archean continental block in the western part of the North China Craton. The Palaeoproterozoic khondalite series rocks represent passive continental margin deposits. They were metamorphosed and deformed in the late Palaeoproterozoic during the amalgamation of the western continental block with another continental block in the east part of the North China Craton. The ITD-type clockwise P-T-t paths of the Palaeoproterozoic khondalite series rocks record the tectonothermal histories of the collision of the western and eastern continental blocks which resulted in the final assembly of the North China Craton at c. 1800 Ma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-53
Number of pages17
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Continental collision
  • Khondalite series
  • Mafic granulites
  • Metamorphism
  • North China Craton
  • P-T paths
  • Tectonic evolution

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