Geochemistry International

, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 362–377 | Cite as

Geochemistry of Sandstones from the Silurian Hanxia Formation, North Qilian Belt, China: Implication for Provenance, Weathering and Tectonic Setting

  • Qian Hou
  • Chuanlong Mou
  • Qiyu Wang
  • Zhiyuan Tan
  • Xiangying Ge
  • Xiuping Wang


The North Qilian orogenic belt is the key to figure out the evolution and assembly of Asia. The Upper Silurian Hanxia Formation which is deposited in the north area of North Qilian Orogenic Belt is of utmost important to reveal the architecture and orogenic process of the North Qilian belt. So provenance analysis of the Hanxia Formation is of significance to reveal not only that the tectonic evolution of the central orogenic belt China, but also that Paleozoic Asia plate reconstruction. The ratios of elements and some discrimination diagrams based on geochemistry indicate that felsic rocks constitute their main source rocks. The chemical index of alteration is less than 80, indicating that the source rocks are relatively fresh and of low maturity. On the Th/Sc versus Zr/Sc scatter plot, samples from Hanxia Formation occur along the magmatic compositional variation trend of rocks, indicating that the rocks did not undergo obvious sedimentary sorting and recycling. The major and trace elements discrimination diagrams imply that Hanxia Formation rocks were derived from continental island arc. Recent studies show that the North China plate subducted southwards and produced subduction-related arc magmatism along the southern margin of the North Qilian Terrane during the Silurian. Therefore, we infer that in the late Silurian period the subduction-related arc became accreted to the Central Qilian terrane to the south, forming a composite continental arc, and the North Qilian belt accumulated in a fore-arc basin.


North Qilian Orogenic Belt Hanxia Formation Provenance Tectonic setting Geochemistry Silurian 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qian Hou
    • 1
  • Chuanlong Mou
    • 2
    • 3
  • Qiyu Wang
    • 1
    • 3
  • Zhiyuan Tan
    • 4
  • Xiangying Ge
    • 3
  • Xiuping Wang
    • 3
  1. 1.Shandong University of Science and TechnologyShandong QingdaoPR China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Sedimentary Basins and Oil and Gas Resources of Ministry of Land and ResourcesSichuan ChengduPR China
  3. 3.Chengdu Institute of Geology and Mineral ResourcesChina Geological SurveySichuan ChengduPR China
  4. 4.280 Research InstituteThe Nuclear Industry Southwest Institute of GeologySichuan GuanghanPR China

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