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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences

Profile

Publication details for Professor Yaoling Niu

Wei, Y.Q., Zhao, Z.D., Niu, Yaoling, Zhu, D.C., Liu, D., Wang, Q., Hou, Z.Q., Mo, X.X. & Wei, J.C. (2017). Geochronology and geochemistry of the Early Jurassic Yeba Formation volcanic rocks in southern Tibet: Initiation of back-arc rifting and crustal accretion in the southern Lhasa Terrane. Lithos 278-281: 477-490.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

Understanding the geological history of the Lhasa Terrane prior to the India-Asia collision (~ 55 ± 10 Ma) is essential for improved models of syn-collisional and post-collisional processes in the southern Lhasa Terrane. The Miocene (~ 18–10 Ma) adakitic magmatism with economically significant porphyry-type mineralization has been interpreted as resulting from partial melting of the Jurassic juvenile crust, but how this juvenile crust was accreted remains poorly known. For this reason, we carried out a detailed study on the volcanic rocks of the Yeba Formation (YF) with the results offering insights into the ways in which the juvenile crust may be accreted in the southern Lhasa Terrane in the Jurassic. The YF volcanic rocks are compositionally bimodal, comprising basalt/basaltic andesite and dacite/rhyolite dated at 183–174 Ma. All these rocks have an arc-like signature with enriched large ion lithophile elements (LILEs; e.g., Rb, Ba and U) and light rare earth elements (LREEs) and depleted high field strength elements (HFSEs; e.g., Nb, Ta, Ti). They also have depleted whole-rock Sr-Nd and zircon Hf isotopic compositions, pointing to significant mantle isotopic contributions. Modeling results of trace elements and isotopes are most consistent with the basalts being derived from a mantle source metasomatized by varying enrichment of subduction components. The silicic volcanic rocks show the characteristics of transitional I-S type granites, and are best interpreted as resulting from re-melting of a mixed source of juvenile amphibole-rich lower crust with reworked crustal materials resembling metagraywackes. Importantly, our results indicate northward Neo-Tethyan seafloor subduction beneath the Lhasa Terrane with the YF volcanism being caused by the initiation of back-arc rifting. The back-arc setting is a site for juvenile crustal accretion in the southern Lhasa Terrane.