Re-evaluating the geochronology of the Permian Tarim magmatic province: implications for temporal evolution of magmatism

<p>The Permian Tarim magmatic province has 118 published ages, ranging from 358 to 205 Ma, but the timing of mafic magmatism is not well constrained. We report two new secondary ion mass spectrometry U–Pb zircon dates on the Halahatang trachydacite and Wajilitag olivine clinopyroxenite, which are 287.2 ± 2.0 Ma and 283.2 ± 2.0 Ma, respectively. The trachydacite overlies the uppermost basalt and constrains the latest eruption age of basalt in northern Tarim. The latter is the first high-resolution date for the Wajilitag mafic layered intrusion. By screening all published ages, we identified 22 robust ages, ranging from 290.9 ± 4.1 to 261.7 ± 1.8 Ma. The robust ages together with our new data reveal a protracted period of mafic magmatism at <em>c</em>. 283 and <em>c</em>. 267 Ma. Silicic magmatism occurred from 291 to 272 Ma. Although the current known volume of Tarim basalt is too small to qualify as a large igneous province, the eroded and intrusive components, as well as pyroclastic deposits and silicic lavas, may increase the estimated volume. Further work is required to refine the duration of magmatism and the volume estimate of the province. </p>