Frontiers of Earth Science

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 191–208 | Cite as

Geological significance of the former Xiong’er Volcanic Belt on the southwestern margin of the North China Craton

  • Guanxu Chen
  • Jinhai LuoEmail author
  • Huan Xu
  • Jia You
  • Yifei Li
  • Zichen Che
Research Article


The rock association of low-grade metasedimentary rocks and greenschists located within the Meso-Cenozoic Liupanshan Fault system on the southwestern margin of the North China Craton (NCC) is regarded as part of the Paleoproterozoic Xiong’er Group. These lowgrade rocks are separated by normal faults, with the greenschist located in the hanging walls. Zircon LA–ICP–MS U–Pb ages of the greenschists range from 2455 to 423 Ma, suggesting that they are not Paleoproterozoic in age. The protolith ages (206–194 Ma) of the greenschists were determined by LA–ICP–MS U–Pb dating of zircons from two siltstone interlayers. The petrology and geochemistry of the greenschists reveal that their protolith was continental tholeiitic basalt that formed in an extensional environment such as a continental rift. Thus, it is proposed that the protolith of the greenschists was a mafic volcanic rock of Late Triassic–Early Jurassic age and was metamorphosed during the Jurassic due to tectonism within the Liupanshan tectonic belt. These results show that the greenschists should be reclassified and removed from the Xiong’er Group, and explains why they differ so much from those of typical Xiong’er Group successions in other areas. The formation of the mafic volcanic rocks under conditions of continental rifting differs from that of coeval granitic rocks in the western Qinling Orogen, where the extension occurred during a post-collisional stage in the Late Triassic, which further suggests that the southwestern margin of the NCC became an extensional setting after the Late Triassic.


southwestern margin of the NCC Paleoproterozoic Xiong’er Group greenschist detrital zircon U–Pb geochronology Late Triassic to Early Jurassic 


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Financial support for this study was jointly provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41421002) and MOST Special Fund from the State Key Laboratory of Continental Dynamics, Northwest University.


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guanxu Chen
    • 1
  • Jinhai Luo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Huan Xu
    • 1
  • Jia You
    • 1
  • Yifei Li
    • 1
  • Zichen Che
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Continental Dynamics (Northwest University), Department of GeologyNorthwest UniversityXi’anChina

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