, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 23-50
Date: 26 Feb 2011

Tectonic evolution of Early Paleozoic island-arc systems and continental crust formation in the Caledonides of Kazakhstan and the North Tien Shan

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Abstract

The extended Saryarka and Shyngyz-North Tien Shan volcanic belts that underwent secondary deformation are traced in the Caledonides of Kazakhstan and the North Tien Shan. These belts are composed of igneous rocks pertaining to Early Paleozoic island-arc systems of various types and the conjugated basins with oceanic crust. The Saryarka volcanic belt has a complex fold-nappe structure formed in the middle Arenigian-middle Llanvirnian as a result of the tectonic juxtaposition of Early-Middle Cambrian and Late Cambrian-Early Ordovician complexes of ensimatic island arcs and basins with oceanic crust. The Shyngyz-North Tien Shan volcanic belt is characterized by a rather simple fold structure and consists of Middle-Late Ordovician volcanic and plutonic associations of ensialic island arcs developing on heterogeneous basement, which is composed of complexes belonging to the Saryarka belt and Precambrian sialic massifs. The structure and isotopic composition of the Paleozoic igneous complexes provide evidence for the heterogeneous structure of the continental crust in various segments of the Kazakh Caledonides. The upper crust of the Shyngyz segment consists of Early Paleozoic island-arc complexes and basins with oceanic crust related to the Saryarka and Shyngyz-North Tien Shan volcanic belts in combination with Middle and Late Paleozoic continental igneous rocks. The deep crustal units of this segment are dominated by mafic rocks of Early Paleozoic suprasubduction complexes. The upper continental crust of the Stepnyak segment is composed of Middle-Late Ordovician island-arc complexes of the Shyngyz-North Tien Shan volcanic belt and Early Ordovician rift-related volcanics. The middle crustal units are composed of Riphean, Paleoproterozoic, and probably Archean sialic rocks, whereas the lower crustal units are composed of Neoproterozoic mafic rocks.

Original Russian Text © K.E. Degtyarev, 2011, published in Geotektonika, 2011, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 28–57.