Multi-stage crustal growth and cratonization of the North China Craton

Geoscience Frontiers  2014年04期
机 构
基 金

The North China Craton(NCC) has a complicated evolutionary history with multi-stage crustal growth,recording nearly all important geological events in the early geotectonic history of the Earth.Our studies propose that the NCC can be divided into six micro-blocks with >~3.0-3.8 Ga old continental nuclei that are surrounded by Neoarchean greenstone belts(CRB).The micro-blocks are also termed as highgrade regions(HGR) and are mainly composed of orthogneisses with minor gabbros and BIF-bearing supracrustal beds or lenses,all of which underwent strong deformation and metamorphism of granulite- to high-grade amphibolite-facies.The micro-blocks are,in turn,from east to west,the Jiaoliao(JL),Qianhuai(QH),Ordos(ODS),Ji’ning(JN) and Alashan(ALS) blocks,and Xuchang(XCH) in the south.Recent studies led to a consensus that the basement of the NCC was composed of different blocks/terranes that were finally amalgamated to form a coherent craton at the end of Neoarchean.Zircon U-Pb data show that TTG gneisses in the HGRs have two prominent age peaks at ca.2.9-2.7 and2.6-2.5 Ga which may correspond to the earliest events of major crustal growth in the NCC.Hafnium isotopic model ages range from ca.3.8 to 2.5 Ga and mostly are in the range of 3.0-2.6 Ga with a peak at2.82 Ga.Recent studies revealed a much larger volume of TTG gneisses in the NCC than previously considered,with a dominant ca.2.7 Ga magmatic zircon ages.Most of the ca.2.7 Ga TTG gneisses underwent metamorphism in 2.6-2.5 Ga as indicated by ubiquitous metamorphic rims around the cores of magmatic zircon in these rocks.Abundant ca.2.6-2.5 Ga orthogneisses have Hf-in-zircon and Nd wholerock model ages mostly around 2.9-2.7 Ga and some around 2.6-2.5 Ga,indicating the timing of protolith formation or extraction of the protolith magma was from the mantle.Therefore,it is suggested that the 2.6-2.5 Ga TTGs probably represent a coherent event of continental accretion and major reworking(crustal melting).As a distinct characteristic,nearly all GRBs in the NCC underwent amphibolite-facies metamorphism.Zircon U-Pb ages of metamorphosed GRB mafic rocks mainly show two peak ranges at ~2.6-2.5 and 2.8-2.7 Ga.The mafic rocks are commonly believed to be derived from metabasalts,it is therefore possible that the ages represent the time of metamorphism.The tectonic settings of the GRBs are still a problem.Their geochemical characteristics are,respectively,similar to back-arc basins,rifts,island arcs or suggest imprints of mantle plumes.BIFs occur in all GRBs but also in the HGRs.This metallogenic specificity is quite different from all Phanerozoic geotectonic settings.The-2.5 Ga metamorphic-magmatic event is stronger than in most other cratons in the world.How to understand the geological significance of the 2.5 Ga event? The following points are emphasized:(1)nearly all old rocks >2.5 Ga underwent metamorphism at ~2.52-2.5 Ga;(2) Archean basement rocks in the NCC experienced strong partial melting and migmatization;(3) granitoid rocks derived from partial melting include potassium granites,TTG granites and monzonites.These granitoids rocks intruded both the Archean greenstone belts and micro-blocks;(4) ~2.5 Ga mafic dikes(amphibolites),granitic dikes(veins) and syenitic-ultramafic dykes are also developed.Therefore,we suggest an assembly model that all micro-blocks in the NCC were welded together by late Archean greenstone belts at the end of the late Neoarchean.We also propose that the various micro-blocks were surrounded by small ocean basins,and the old continental crust and the oceanic crust were hotter than today.Subduction and collision were on much smaller scales as compared to the Phanerozoic plate tectonic regime,although the tectonic style and mechanisms were more or less similar.The formation of crustal melt granites is one of the processes of cratonization,inducing generation of stable upper and lower crustal layers.This process also generated an upper crust of more felsic composition and a lower crust of more mafic composition,due to molten residual materials and some underplated gabbros.