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Zircon U–Pb ages and Hf isotope compositions of the Neoproterozoic magmatic rocks in the Helan Mountains, North China

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 July 2019

Jie Yang
School of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, PR China Changjiang Institute of Survey, Planning, Design, and Research, Wuhan 430010, PR China
Qiang Zhu
School of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, PR China Geological Survey of Anhui Province, Hefei 23000, PR China
Zuoxun Zeng*
School of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, PR China
Le Wan
School of Earth Sciences, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, PR China
*Author for correspondence: Zuoxun Zeng, Email:


The periodic dispersal and assembly of continental fragments has been an inherent feature of the continental crust. Based on the discovery of large-scale supercontinent cycle and the theory of plate tectonics, several supercontinents have been identified, such as Columbia/Nuna, Rodinia, Gondwana and Pangaea. Neoproterozoic magmatic events related to the break-up of Rodinia are globally well preserved. Although Neoproterozoic magmatic events were very weak in the North China Craton (NCC), they are crucial in reconstructing the geometries of the NCC and could facilitate the completion of the Neoproterozoic configuration of the supercontinent. In this study, c. 853–835 Ma magmatic rocks are identified in the western margin of the NCC. Precise zircon U–Pb age determination yields 206Pb/238U average ages of 835.5 ± 5.3 Ma (HL-39) and 853.7 ± 4.5 Ma (HL-30). In situ zircon Hf isotope compositions of the samples reveal that their parental magma was formed by the reworking of ancient crust evolved from Mesoproterozoic mantle. In summary, the discovery of Neoproterozoic magmatic rocks in the western margin of the NCC, and reported synchronous rocks in other parts of the NCC indicate that the NCC might be conjoined with the supercontinent Rodinia during the Neoproterozoic. This discovery is of significant help in unravelling the early Neoproterozoic history of the NCC and the evolution of the supercontinent Rodinia.

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© Cambridge University Press 2019 

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