Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Geology, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, United States, Volume 110, Number 5, p.611-618 (2002)




absolute age, accretion, Asia, China, continental drift, dates, Far East, gabbros, geochemistry, igneous rocks, intrusions, ion probe data, lithogeochemistry, lithosphere, mafic composition, magmatism, mantle, mantle plumes, mass spectra, neoproterozoic, nesosilicates, oceanic lithosphere, orthosilicates, paleogeography, plutonic rocks, Precambrian, proterozoic, pyroxenite, Rodinia, Shaanxi China, SHRIMP data, silicates, spectra, U/Pb, ultramafics, upper Precambrian, Yangtze Platform, zircon, zircon group


South China has been considered as part of the Rodinian supercontinent during Neoproterozoic time, although its paleogeographic position within this supercontinent is still a matter of debate. The Wangjiangshan and Bijigou complexes along the northern margin of South China are among the largest mafic intrusions in China. New SHRIMP zircon U-Pb results indicate that these two intrusions have crystallization ages of 820 Ma and 780 Ma, respectively. Enrichment of large ion lithophile and light rare earth elements and depletion of high field-strength elements in these intrusions suggest derivation from an active arc along a continental margin. This interpretation of these intrusions as part of a continental arc assemblage is in contrast with the previous view that they were products of a Neoproterozoic mantle plume that initiated the breakup of Rodinia. The presence of a Neoproterozoic magmatic arc suggests that Rodinian oceanic lithosphere was subducted beneath the (present) northern margin of South China and therefore that South China flanked the Rodinian ocean.


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