Tectonic Implications and Petrogenesis of the Various Types of Magmatic Rocks from the Zedang Area in Southern Tibet

  • Yuanku Meng
  • Fahui XiongEmail author
  • Jingsui Yang
  • Zhao Liu
  • Kieran A. lles
  • Paul T. Robinson
  • Xiangzhen Xu


In this study, we report systematically field observations, geochronology, whole-rock geochemistry and Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic dataset on the various types of magmatic rocks collected from the Zedang area. Chemically, the diabase and gabbro have a low-K calc-alkaline affinity, whereas the basalt and plagiogranite have medium to high-K calc-alkaline characteristics. In addition, the basalts are highly enriched in light rare earth elements (LREE) and large ion lithophile elements (LILE), but strongly depleted in high strength field elements (HFSE), indicating that their magma source probably was derived from a subduction- or arc-related setting. In contrast, both the gabbro and diabase mainly demonstrate an N-MORB-like affinity consistent with normal mid-oceanic ridge basalt (N-MORB) origin. The zircon U-Pb dating results suggest that the basalts were crystallized earlier at ca. 158-161 Ma (Oxfordian stage), but the gabbro was crystallized at ca. 131 Ma (Hauterivian stage of Early Cretaceous). The zircon U-Pb dating results correspond with the field observations that the veins of gabbro intruded basalt. Furthermore, the plagiogranite has a weighted mean age of ca. 160 Ma (MSWD=2.1) consistent with the basalt within the uncertainty. The basalt and the plagiogranite have significantly positive εHf(t) values (+5.8 to +15.6 and +8.6 to +16.1, respectively), suggesting that they were originated from partial melting of a depleted source. However, basalt and plagiogranite are characterized by the wide variations of εHf(t) values indicating minor amounts of exotic crustal material input during the later magma evolution. Additionally, the basalt shows duplex geochemical features of island-arc and mid-oceanic ridge basalt, corresponding to the supra-subduction zone-(SSZ) type affinity. To sum up, two distinct magmatic events identified in this study probably suggest an intra-oceanic arc system existing in the Zedang area during the Late Jurassic, but the intra-oceanic arc subduction extinguished in the Early Cretaceous as suggested by the N-MORB-like gabbro and diabase. Integrated with regional background and different rock types, as well as geochemical features, we conclude that intra-oceanic arc subduction setting developed during the Late Jurassic in the Zedang area, southern Tibet.


geochronology petrogenesis magmatic rocks Zedang sub-terrane tectonic implications 


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Firstly, we are grateful to the guest editors Profs. Xu-Ping Li and Hans-Peter Schertl for their warm-hearted invitation on this special issue. Many thanks go to two reviewers for their constructive and suggestive comments which improved the manuscript greatly. In addition, we thank Prof. Zhiqin Xu for her academic guidance during the southern Tibet field survey. The research was financially co-supported by the Key Laboratory of Deep-Earth Dynamics of Ministry of Natural Resources (Nos. J1901-7, J1901-16), the State Scholarship Fund (No. 201904180031), the National Key Research and Development Project of China (No. 2016YFC0600310), the 2nd Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition (No. 2019QZKK0802), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41672046, 41641015, 41762005, 41720104009, 41703036), the China Geological Survey (No. DD201190060), and the International Geological Correlation Project (No. IGCP-649). The final publication is available at Springer via

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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, Part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Depositional Mineralization & Sedimentary MineralsShandong University of Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  2. 2.Center for Advanced Research on the Mantle (CARMA), Key Laboratory of Deep-Earth Dynamics of Ministry of Natural Resources, Institute of GeologyChinese Academy of Geological SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Mineral ResourcesChinese Academy of Geological SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Department of Geosciences and GeographyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland

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