The Gangdese belt is dominantly composed of igneous rocks that formed during the northward subduction of Neo-Tethyan oceanic lithosphere beneath the Lhasa terrane and has played a crucial role in understanding the pre-collisional evolution of southern Tibet. This paper presents new geochronological and geochemical (whole-rock major and trace element and Sr–Nd and zircon Hf isotope) data for recently identified volcanic rocks exposed in Changguo area, southernmost part of the Lhasa terrane. Zircon U–Pb dating from six samples yields consistent ages of 237.1 ± 1.1 Ma to 211.7 ± 1.5 Ma for magma emplacement through volcanic eruption, showing the Middle–Late Triassic magmatic activity in the southernmost Gangdese Belt. The Changguo volcanic rocks are mainly composed of basaltic and andesitic rocks and exhibit LILE enrichment and HFSE depletion. They also exhibit relatively uniform Nd–Hf isotopic compositions (εNd(t) = + 5.20 to + 7.74 and εHf(t)zircon = + 10.2 to + 15.9). The basaltic magmas were likely sourced from partial melting of sub-arc mantle wedge that was metasomatized by not only the aqueous fluid derived from subducting altered oceanic crust but also hydrous melt derived from subducting seafloor sediments, and subsequently experienced fractional crystallization and juvenile crustal contamination during ascent. The andesitic magmas were generated by partial melting of mafic–ultramafic metasomes through melt/fluid–peridotite reaction at slab–mantle interface. Taking into account the temporal and spatial distribution of the Early Mesozoic magmatic rocks and regional detrital zircon data, we further propose that the northward subduction of Neo-Tethyan oceanic lithosphere beneath the Lhasa terrane commenced by Middle Triassic.
- Lhasa terrane
- Middle–Late Triassic magmatic activity
- Subduction of Neo-Tethyan oceanic lithosphere
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology