Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 48, Issue 8, pp 831–838 | Cite as

Decoupling of surface and subsurface sutures in the Dabie orogen and a continent-collisional lithospheric-wedging model: Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic evidences of Mesozoic igneous rocks in eastern China

  • Shuguang Li
  • Wei Yang


There are significant differences of Nd and Pb isotopic compositions between Mesozoic mafic igneous rocks from the North China Block (NCB) and the South China Block (SCB). Mesozoic mantle-derived igneous rocks from the North China Block have very lowɛNd values (−15 to −21), and206Pb/204Pb ratios (< 17.9), while those in the SCB are characterized byɛNd > −10 and206Pb/204Pb > 18.3. The very lowɛNd values (−16 to −20) and206Pb/204Pb ratios (< 17.3) of the early Cretaceous mafic-ultramafic intrusions developed in the north part of the Dabie orogen (NDZ) suggest that the deep lithosphere underneath the NDZ belongs to the NCB but not the SCB. Therefore, although the surface suture between the NCB and SCB is located on the north side of the NDZ, the subsurface suture between the NCB and SCB should be located to the south side of the NDZ. This is consistent with the previous suggestion that the subsurface suture in the Sulu terrane east of the Tanlu fault was the south displacement, but contradictory to northward continental subduction of the SCB. A. continent-collisional lithospheric-wedging model can interpret the decoupling of the surface and subsurface sutures in the Dabie-Sulu orogen. After slab break-off, the continuing convergence of two continental blocks must increase the compression force acting on the suture zone, which might induce the lithosphere splitting of SCB. Thus, the lower crust and lithospheric mantle on the south margin of the NCB can wedge into the north margin of the lithosphere of the SCB along the Dabie-Sulu collision zone. This process caused the overthrust of the mid-upper continental crust with exhumed ultrahigh pressure meta-morphic (UHPM) rocks and underthrust of the deep litho-sphere of the SCB. It could be an important mechanism responsible for the second rapid cooling and uplifting of the UHPM rocks and lithospheric delamination as well as the corresponding magmatism in Jurassic in the Dabie orogen. The southward movement of subsurface suture in the Dabie-Sulu orogen may also provide a tectonic setting in depth for the large-scale Mesozoic magmatic-metallogenesis along the middle-lower reaches of the Yangtse River in eastern China.


Dabie orogen post-collisional tectonics Mesozoic maficigneous rocks in eastern China Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic geochemistry 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuguang Li
    • 1
  • Wei Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Earth and Space SciencesUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina

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