Slab break-off model for the Triassic syn-collisional granites in the Qinling orogenic belt, Central China: Zircon U-Pb age and Hf isotope constraints

<div><p>Numerous Triassic granitoids in the Qinling orogenic belt related to the Late Triassic collision between the North China Craton (NCC) and the Yangtze Block (YB) are important for determining the crustal composition at depth and the geodynamic processes by which the orogen formed. Most of the Triassic plutons in the Qinling orogen were emplaced between 205 and 225 Ma. The granitoid rocks from the southern margin of the NCC, North Qinling, South Qinling, and the northern margin of the YB that were emplaced during this interval have two-stage Hf model ages of 0.60–2.52 Ga (average 2.19 Ga), 0.90–2.66 Ga (average 1.29 Ga), 0.41–3.04 Ga (average 1.48 Ga), and 1.00–1.84 Ga (average 1.34 Ga), respectively, and mean <i>ε</i><sub>Hf</sub>(<i>t</i>) values of −14.5, −0.32, −1.36, and −3.98, respectively. The Hf isotope compositions of the granitoids in different tectonic units differ significantly, mirroring the diverse history of crustal growth of the four units.</p><p>The temporal and spatial distribution and Hf isotope compositions of the granitoids suggest that there was a unified geodynamic process that triggered the magmatism. Formation of the Triassic granitoid plutons at 225–205 Ma was a consequence of slab break-off or E–W-striking slab tearing, related to slab rollback in the west part of the Qinling orogen and oblique continental collision in the east. Upwelling of the asthenospheric mantle led to partial melting of the subcontinental lithospheric mantle and the lower crust, and mixing and/or mingling of the resulting magmas resulted in the formation of granitoids with diverse geological and geochemical characteristics.</p></div>