North China and Tarim Cratonic Blocks

Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter the Archaean and Palaeoproteroic geology and geodynamic evolution of the North China Craton and the Tarim Craton are described, from published literature. The North China Craton consists of a Western Block and an Eastern Block, separated by the north-trending Trans-North China Orogen, which developed through a series of subduction-related systems that were eventually accreted onto the Western and Eastern Blocks, resulting in the final amalgamation of the North China Craton at about 1.8 Ga. There are still conflicting ideas regarding the geological history of the Trans-North China Orogen. Dyke swarms, anorogenic magmatism and rifting processes are also recorded from about 2.5 Ga. Mineral systems that occur in the North China Craton can be divided into those that formed during the geological history of the Craton, such as podiform chromite and Fe-Ti-V deposits in mafic-ultramafic rocks and massif-type anorthosite intrusions, banded iron-formation (BIF) hosted Fe deposits and volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits (VMS). BIF include both Algoma-type and Superior type. Various types of mineral deposits were formed during Palaeoproterozoic rifting processes and igneous activity that affected the Craton. One of these is the giant Bayan Obo rare earth deposit in Inner Mongolia, developed in a Palaeoproterozoic rift, but through a series of multistage episodes involving carbonatite magmas. To the same period also belong unusual and somewhat enigmatis massive sulphide deposits, considered as transitional submarine to Irish-type. A wide range of hydrothermal deposits, including the Jiaodong lode Au deposits, porphyry and porphyry-skarn were formed during phases of collision tectonic between the North China Craton and the Mongolia-Siberian plate in the Permian-Triassic and during the widespread Mesozoic Yanshanian tectono-thermal event. The Yanshanian event is probably the most productive in terms of mineral systems and is considered by most authors to be related to delamination of the lithospheric mantle, resulting in magmatic underplating, crustal melting and the development of A- and I-type granitic magmas and volcanism along the east Asian margin in rift structures. Giant and world-class mineral systems, all formed during the Yanshanian in eastern China.

The Tarim Craton, commonly called Block or Basin, regardless of whether the topic in question is basement or cover rocks, is poorly known, mainly due to its extensive cover of Phanerozoic sedimentary and volcanic successions. The Tarim Craton was amalgamated with the North China and Yangtze Cratons during the Phanerozoic, probably following the assembly of Pangea and the closure of the Palaeo-Tethys Ocean. Most of the cratonic lithostratigraphy is known from deep drilling and from exposures along its margins. Mineralisation that can be ascribed to the Tarim Craton include Ni-Cu sulphides and the potential exists for carbonatite-hosted rare earth deposits.

Keywords

North China Craton Mantle Plume Greenstone Belt Mafic Dyke Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geological Survey of Western Australia Centre for Exploration TargetingThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

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