We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Professor Yaoling Niu

Song, S.G., Niu, Yaoling, Su, L., Wei, C.J. & Zhang, L.F. (2014). Adakitic (tonalitic-trondhjemitic) magmas resulting from eclogite decompression and dehydration melting during exhumation in response to continental collision. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 130: 42-62.

Author(s) from Durham


Modern adakite or adakitic rocks are thought to result from partial melting of younger and thus warmer subducting ocean crust in subduction zones, with the melt interacting with or without mantle wedge peridotite during ascent, or from melting of thickened mafic lower crust. Here we show that adakitic (tonalitic-trondhjemitic) melts can also be produced by eclogite decompression during exhumation of subducted and metamorphosed oceanic/continental crust in response to continental collision, as exemplified by the adakitic rocks genetically associated with the early Paleozoic North Qaidam ultra-high pressure metamorphic (UHPM) belt on the northern margin of the Greater Tibetan Plateau. We present field evidence for partial melting of eclogite and its products, including adakitic melt, volumetrically significant plutons evolved from the melt, cumulate rocks precipitated from the melt, and associated granulitic residues. This “adakitic assemblage” records a clear progression from eclogite decompression and heating to partial melting, to melt fractionation and ascent/percolation in response to exhumation of the UHPM package. The garnetite and garnet-rich layers in the adakitic assemblage are of cumulate origin from the adakitic melt at high pressure, and accommodate much of the Nb–Ta–Ti. Zircon SHRIMP U–Pb dating shows that partial melting of the eclogite took place at ∼435–410 Ma, which postdates the seafloor subduction (>440 Ma) and temporally overlaps the UHPM (∼440–425 Ma). While the geological context and the timing of adakite melt formation we observe differ from the prevailing models, our observations and documentations demonstrate that eclogite melting during UHPM exhumation may be important in contributing to crustal growth.