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Petrogenesis of Early Cretaceous volcanic rocks from the Rena-Co area in the southern Qiangtang Terrane, central Tibet: evidence from zircon U-Pb geochronology, petrochemistry and Sr-Nd-Pb–Hf isotope characteristics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 May 2023

Shaogang Wei*
School of Materials Engineering, Changshu Institute of Technology, Changshu, Jiangsu, China National Institute of Natural Hazards, Ministry of Emergency Management of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing, China
Juxing Tang
MLR Key Laboratory of Metallogeny and Mineral Assessment, Institute of Mineral Resources, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing, China
Yang Song
MLR Key Laboratory of Metallogeny and Mineral Assessment, Institute of Mineral Resources, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing, China
Baolong Li
MLR Key Laboratory of Metallogeny and Mineral Assessment, Institute of Mineral Resources, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing, China
Yujie Dong
No. 5 Geological Party, Tibet Bureau of Geology and Mineral Exploration and Development, Golmud, Qinghai, China
Corresponding author: Shaogang Wei, Email:


The subduction of the Bangong–Nujiang Ocean is important in the geological evolution of the Tibetan Plateau. In this paper, we report new zircon U-Pb age and Lu-Hf isotopic data and whole-rock elemental and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic data for Early Cretaceous dacites from the Rena-Co area (RCA) in the southern Qiangtang Terrane (QT), central Tibet and use these data to better understand the tectonic evolution of the Bangong–Nujiang suture. LA–ICP-MS dating of zircons yields ages of 109.5 ± 0.6 Ma to 109.6 ± 0.8 Ma for the dacites from the RCA. Geochemically, these dacites are medium-K calc-alkaline and show high SiO2 contents of 64.79–70.37 wt.%, high Sr contents of 517–598 ppm and low Y contents of 8.45–10.7 ppm, similar to those of typical adakites. Additionally, all the rocks are strongly enriched in light rare earth elements and some large ion lithophile elements (e.g. Rb, U, K and Cs) but significantly depleted in high-field-strength elements (e.g. Nb, Ta and Ti), consistent with the geochemical characteristics of arc-type magmas formed in the subduction zone. Moreover, these adakite-like dacites show whole-rock initial (87Sr/86Sr)i ratios of 0.705119 to 0.705491, (206Pb/204Pb)i ratios of 18.489 to 18.508, (207Pb/204Pb)i ratios of 15.591 to 15.612, (208Pb/204Pb)i ratios of 38.599 to 38.686, ϵNd(t) values of −0.28 to +1.25 and single-stage Nd model ages of 642 to 818 Ma, as well as significantly positive zircon ϵHf(t) values of 3.9–13.1, with young Hf-depleted mantle ages of 331 to 923 Ma. These geochemical and isotopic data indicate that they are most likely derived from the juvenile thickened mafic lower continental crust, which contains partial melts of metasomatized peridotite and subduction-related fluids in the magma source region. Based on previous studies and our new data, we propose that the RCA adakite-like dacites are most likely a result of the northwards subduction of the Bangong–Nujiang Ocean lithosphere beneath the southern QT during the Early Cretaceous and that a slab rollback model could explain the formation of the RCA adakite-like dacites.

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© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press

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