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Geochemical constraints on the link between volcanism and plutonism at the Yunshan caldera complex, SE China


The Yunshan caldera complex is part of a larger scale, ca. 2000-km-long volcanic–plutonic complex belt in the coastal region of SE China. The volcanic rocks in the caldera complex are characterized by high-silica peraluminous and peralkaline rhyolites associated with an intracaldera porphyritic quartz monzonite pluton. In this study, we present zircon U–Pb, Hf and stable O isotopes along with geochemical data of both volcanic and plutonic rocks to evaluate the potential petrogenetic link between volcanism and plutonism in the Yunshan caldera complex. SHRIMP zircon U–Pb geochronology of both volcanic and plutonic rocks yields almost identical ages ranging from 95.6 to 93.1 Ma. The peraluminous and peralkaline rhyolites show negative anomalies of Sr, P, Ti and Ba and to a lesser extent negative Nb and Ta anomalies, along with positive Rb anomalies and ‘seagull-like’ rare earth element (REE) patterns with negative Eu anomalies and low (La/Yb)N ratios. The intracaldera porphyritic quartz monzonite displays minor negative Rb, Nb, Ta, Sr, P and Ti anomalies and a positive Ba anomaly with REE patterns characterized by relatively high (La/Yb)N ratios and lack significant Eu anomalies. The peraluminous and peralkaline rhyolites and the porphyritic quartz monzonite exhibit consistent ε Nd(t) of − 3.7 to − 2.2 and display zircon ε Hf(t) values of − 2.1 to 3.7. They further have similar, mantle-like, zircon oxygen isotopic compositions (δ18OVSMOW mainly = 4.63 to 5.76‰). We interpret these observations to be in agreement with a crystal mush model in which the parental magma of the volcanic and plutonic rocks of the Yunshan caldera complex was likely produced by interaction of asthenosphere melts with subduction-influenced enriched mantle wedge. The peralkaline rhyolites are interpreted to represent the most differentiated magma that has subsequently experienced significant fluid–melt interactions, whereas the porphyritic quartz monzonite may be representative of the residual crystal mush. The Yunshan rhyolites typically match the geochemical characteristics of ‘hot-dry-reduced’ rhyolites indicating that, during the late Cretaceous, the tectonic setting of SE China changed from a compressional environment to an extensional environment, i.e., from an arc into a back-arc setting. Our results imply that volcanic and plutonic rocks in caldera systems may provide unique constraints on the evolution of the magmatic system in which both the erupting melt and the residual crystalline material are being preserved.

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We thank an anonymous reviewer, Olivier Bachmann and Tyrone Rooney in the Dulles Lufthansa Lounge for their helpful and constructive reviews. Z.Y.H. is deeply indebted to the late Professor Bor-ming Jahn for his encouragement of this study. ChB acknowledges the irresistible nut mix from R. Merk providing crunchy food for the mental job. This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41102028), the Research Grant from Institute of Geology, CAGS (J1311) and a scholarship from the China Scholarship Council (to L.L.Y.).

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Correspondence to Zhenyu He.

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Yan, L., He, Z., Beier, C. et al. Geochemical constraints on the link between volcanism and plutonism at the Yunshan caldera complex, SE China. Contrib Mineral Petrol 173, 4 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00410-017-1430-5

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  • Peralkaline rhyolite
  • Quartz monzonite
  • Yunshan caldera complex
  • Magma differentiation
  • Crystal mush
  • Zircon Hf–O isotopes