U-Pb geochronology of basement rocks in central Tibet and paleogeographic implications

Jerome Guynn, Paul A Kapp, George E Gehrels, Lin Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

134 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ages and paleogeographic affinities of basement rocks of Tibetan terranes are poorly known. New U-Pb zircon geochronologic data from orthogneisses of the Amdo basement better resolve Neoproterozoic and Cambro-Ordovician magmatism in central Tibet. The Amdo basement is exposed within the Bangong suture zone between the Lhasa and Qiangtang terranes and is composed of granitic orthogneisses with subordinate paragneisses and metasedimentary rocks. The intermediate-felsic orthogneisses show a bimodal distribution of Neoproterozoic (920-820. Ma) and Cambro-Ordovician (540-460. Ma) crystallization ages. These and other sparse basement ages from Tibetan terranes suggest the plateau is underlain by juvenile crust that is Neoproterozoic or younger; its young age and weaker rheology relative to cratonic blocks bounding the plateau margins likely facilitated the propagation of Indo-Asian deformation far into Asia. The Neoproterozoic ages post-date Rodinia assembly and magmatism of similar ages is documented in the Qaidaim-Kunlun terrane, South China block, the Aravalli-Delhi craton in NW India, the Eastern Ghats of India, and the Prince Charles mountains in Antarctica. The Amdo Neoproterozoic plutons cannot be unambiguously related to one of these regions, but we propose that the Yangtze block of the South China block is the most likely association, with the Amdo basement representing a terrane that possibly rifted from the active Yangtze margin in the middle Neoproterozoic. Cambro-Ordovician granitoids are ubiquitous throughout Gondwana as a product of active margin tectonics following Gondwana assembly and indicate that the Lhasa-Qiangtang terranes were involved in these tectono-magmatic events. U-Pb detrital zircon analysis of two quartzites from the Amdo basement suggest that the protoliths were Carboniferous-Permian continental margin strata widely deposited across the Lhasa and Qiangtang terranes. The detrital zircon age spectra of the upper Paleozoic Tibetan sandstones and other rocks deposited in East Gondwana during the late Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic are all quite similar, making it difficult to use the age spectra for paleogeographic determinations. There is a suggestion in the data that the Qiangtang terrane may have been located further west along Gondwana's northern boundary than the Lhasa terrane, but more refined spatial and temporal data are needed to verify this configuration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-50
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

Fingerprint

basement rock
geochronology
terrane
Gondwana
Ordovician
zircon
active margin
magmatism
Paleozoic
plateau
Rodinia
suture zone
metasedimentary rock
protolith
rheology
pluton
craton
continental margin
Permian
crystallization

Keywords

  • Amdo
  • Lhasa
  • Paleogeography
  • Qiangtang
  • Tibet
  • Zircon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Geology

Cite this

U-Pb geochronology of basement rocks in central Tibet and paleogeographic implications. / Guynn, Jerome; Kapp, Paul A; Gehrels, George E; Ding, Lin.

In: Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, Vol. 43, No. 1, 01.01.2012, p. 23-50.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{2c0c0ba304f44ed8aa360069a1f1cb23,
title = "U-Pb geochronology of basement rocks in central Tibet and paleogeographic implications",
abstract = "The ages and paleogeographic affinities of basement rocks of Tibetan terranes are poorly known. New U-Pb zircon geochronologic data from orthogneisses of the Amdo basement better resolve Neoproterozoic and Cambro-Ordovician magmatism in central Tibet. The Amdo basement is exposed within the Bangong suture zone between the Lhasa and Qiangtang terranes and is composed of granitic orthogneisses with subordinate paragneisses and metasedimentary rocks. The intermediate-felsic orthogneisses show a bimodal distribution of Neoproterozoic (920-820. Ma) and Cambro-Ordovician (540-460. Ma) crystallization ages. These and other sparse basement ages from Tibetan terranes suggest the plateau is underlain by juvenile crust that is Neoproterozoic or younger; its young age and weaker rheology relative to cratonic blocks bounding the plateau margins likely facilitated the propagation of Indo-Asian deformation far into Asia. The Neoproterozoic ages post-date Rodinia assembly and magmatism of similar ages is documented in the Qaidaim-Kunlun terrane, South China block, the Aravalli-Delhi craton in NW India, the Eastern Ghats of India, and the Prince Charles mountains in Antarctica. The Amdo Neoproterozoic plutons cannot be unambiguously related to one of these regions, but we propose that the Yangtze block of the South China block is the most likely association, with the Amdo basement representing a terrane that possibly rifted from the active Yangtze margin in the middle Neoproterozoic. Cambro-Ordovician granitoids are ubiquitous throughout Gondwana as a product of active margin tectonics following Gondwana assembly and indicate that the Lhasa-Qiangtang terranes were involved in these tectono-magmatic events. U-Pb detrital zircon analysis of two quartzites from the Amdo basement suggest that the protoliths were Carboniferous-Permian continental margin strata widely deposited across the Lhasa and Qiangtang terranes. The detrital zircon age spectra of the upper Paleozoic Tibetan sandstones and other rocks deposited in East Gondwana during the late Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic are all quite similar, making it difficult to use the age spectra for paleogeographic determinations. There is a suggestion in the data that the Qiangtang terrane may have been located further west along Gondwana's northern boundary than the Lhasa terrane, but more refined spatial and temporal data are needed to verify this configuration.",
keywords = "Amdo, Lhasa, Paleogeography, Qiangtang, Tibet, Zircon",
author = "Jerome Guynn and Kapp, {Paul A} and Gehrels, {George E} and Lin Ding",
year = "2012",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jseaes.2011.09.003",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "43",
pages = "23--50",
journal = "Journal of Asian Earth Sciences",
issn = "1367-9120",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - U-Pb geochronology of basement rocks in central Tibet and paleogeographic implications

AU - Guynn, Jerome

AU - Kapp, Paul A

AU - Gehrels, George E

AU - Ding, Lin

PY - 2012/1/1

Y1 - 2012/1/1

N2 - The ages and paleogeographic affinities of basement rocks of Tibetan terranes are poorly known. New U-Pb zircon geochronologic data from orthogneisses of the Amdo basement better resolve Neoproterozoic and Cambro-Ordovician magmatism in central Tibet. The Amdo basement is exposed within the Bangong suture zone between the Lhasa and Qiangtang terranes and is composed of granitic orthogneisses with subordinate paragneisses and metasedimentary rocks. The intermediate-felsic orthogneisses show a bimodal distribution of Neoproterozoic (920-820. Ma) and Cambro-Ordovician (540-460. Ma) crystallization ages. These and other sparse basement ages from Tibetan terranes suggest the plateau is underlain by juvenile crust that is Neoproterozoic or younger; its young age and weaker rheology relative to cratonic blocks bounding the plateau margins likely facilitated the propagation of Indo-Asian deformation far into Asia. The Neoproterozoic ages post-date Rodinia assembly and magmatism of similar ages is documented in the Qaidaim-Kunlun terrane, South China block, the Aravalli-Delhi craton in NW India, the Eastern Ghats of India, and the Prince Charles mountains in Antarctica. The Amdo Neoproterozoic plutons cannot be unambiguously related to one of these regions, but we propose that the Yangtze block of the South China block is the most likely association, with the Amdo basement representing a terrane that possibly rifted from the active Yangtze margin in the middle Neoproterozoic. Cambro-Ordovician granitoids are ubiquitous throughout Gondwana as a product of active margin tectonics following Gondwana assembly and indicate that the Lhasa-Qiangtang terranes were involved in these tectono-magmatic events. U-Pb detrital zircon analysis of two quartzites from the Amdo basement suggest that the protoliths were Carboniferous-Permian continental margin strata widely deposited across the Lhasa and Qiangtang terranes. The detrital zircon age spectra of the upper Paleozoic Tibetan sandstones and other rocks deposited in East Gondwana during the late Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic are all quite similar, making it difficult to use the age spectra for paleogeographic determinations. There is a suggestion in the data that the Qiangtang terrane may have been located further west along Gondwana's northern boundary than the Lhasa terrane, but more refined spatial and temporal data are needed to verify this configuration.

AB - The ages and paleogeographic affinities of basement rocks of Tibetan terranes are poorly known. New U-Pb zircon geochronologic data from orthogneisses of the Amdo basement better resolve Neoproterozoic and Cambro-Ordovician magmatism in central Tibet. The Amdo basement is exposed within the Bangong suture zone between the Lhasa and Qiangtang terranes and is composed of granitic orthogneisses with subordinate paragneisses and metasedimentary rocks. The intermediate-felsic orthogneisses show a bimodal distribution of Neoproterozoic (920-820. Ma) and Cambro-Ordovician (540-460. Ma) crystallization ages. These and other sparse basement ages from Tibetan terranes suggest the plateau is underlain by juvenile crust that is Neoproterozoic or younger; its young age and weaker rheology relative to cratonic blocks bounding the plateau margins likely facilitated the propagation of Indo-Asian deformation far into Asia. The Neoproterozoic ages post-date Rodinia assembly and magmatism of similar ages is documented in the Qaidaim-Kunlun terrane, South China block, the Aravalli-Delhi craton in NW India, the Eastern Ghats of India, and the Prince Charles mountains in Antarctica. The Amdo Neoproterozoic plutons cannot be unambiguously related to one of these regions, but we propose that the Yangtze block of the South China block is the most likely association, with the Amdo basement representing a terrane that possibly rifted from the active Yangtze margin in the middle Neoproterozoic. Cambro-Ordovician granitoids are ubiquitous throughout Gondwana as a product of active margin tectonics following Gondwana assembly and indicate that the Lhasa-Qiangtang terranes were involved in these tectono-magmatic events. U-Pb detrital zircon analysis of two quartzites from the Amdo basement suggest that the protoliths were Carboniferous-Permian continental margin strata widely deposited across the Lhasa and Qiangtang terranes. The detrital zircon age spectra of the upper Paleozoic Tibetan sandstones and other rocks deposited in East Gondwana during the late Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic are all quite similar, making it difficult to use the age spectra for paleogeographic determinations. There is a suggestion in the data that the Qiangtang terrane may have been located further west along Gondwana's northern boundary than the Lhasa terrane, but more refined spatial and temporal data are needed to verify this configuration.

KW - Amdo

KW - Lhasa

KW - Paleogeography

KW - Qiangtang

KW - Tibet

KW - Zircon

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=82855165054&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=82855165054&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jseaes.2011.09.003

DO - 10.1016/j.jseaes.2011.09.003

M3 - Article

VL - 43

SP - 23

EP - 50

JO - Journal of Asian Earth Sciences

JF - Journal of Asian Earth Sciences

SN - 1367-9120

IS - 1

ER -