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Subduction-related 200 Ma Talun metagranite, SE Taiwan: an age constraint for palaeo-Pacific plate subduction beneath South China Block during the Mesozoic

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posted on 2016-11-29, 12:42 authored by T. F. Yui, H. T. Chu, K. Suga, C. Y. Lan, S. H. Chung, K. L. Wang, M. Grove

Various tectonic models have been proposed to account for the widely distributed igneous activities in the southeastern part of the South China Block (SCB) during the Triassic–Jurassic period. One of the major contending debates is on the timing of initiation of the palaeo-Pacific plate subduction under the SCB, due to lack of unequivocal evidence for arc magmatism during the period in this region.

The 191 ± 10 Ma (N = 5, MSWD = 12) calc-alkalic high-K I-type Talun metagranite occurs in the southern Tailuko belt of the Tananao metamorphic complex, Taiwan. In terms of age, this metagranite belongs to the Early Yanshanian igneous activity in the southeastern part of the SCB. However, its geographic position does not accord with the well-known general oceanward younging trend of the Yansnanian igneous rocks. In view of the large age uncertainty reported, this metagranite is redated in this study. Some zircons of this metagranite are high in U content and are metamict. Zircons with low U contents are analysed by SHRIMP yielding a more precise age of 200 ± 2 Ma (N = 10, MSWD = 4). In particular, the εHf(t) of these dated zircons ranges from +4.5 to +12.9. The metagranite mainly consists of quartz, K-feldspar, plagioclase, with minor amounts of garnet, biotite, zircon, apatite, and pyrrhotite. Chlorite and calcite are secondary phases overprinted by the later tectonic event(s). Its initial Sr isotope compositional range is 0.70473–0.70588, and εNd(t), +2.4 to +3.6. The results demonstrate that the genesis of this metagranite could be attributed to the assimilation-fractionation of a depleted mantle-derived basaltic magma, which was most likely related to arc magmatism. The present study therefore offers key evidence that during the Mesozoic, the palaeo-Pacific plate subduction underneath the SCB would have taken place no later than the very early Jurassic.

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