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Durham University

Department of Earth Sciences


Publication details for Professor Yaoling Niu

Zhang, G.B., Niu, Yaoling, Song, S.G., Zhang, L.F., Tian, Z.L., Christy, A.G. & Han, L. (2015). Trace element behavior and P–T–t evolution during partial melting of exhumed eclogite in the North Qaidam UHPM belt (NW China): Implications for adakite genesis. Lithos 226: 65-80.

Author(s) from Durham


We have studied trace element behavior and timing of decompression melting of UHP rocks during exhumation recorded in the magmatic products, i.e., the melt phase (leucosomes), cumulate (garnetite) and residue (amphibolitized eclogite) from a single outcrop in the south Dulan area, North Qaidam UHPM belt, NW China. Two distinct episodes of partial melting are recognized. First, Grt-free tonalitic–trondhjemitic leucosome melts with higher silica crystallized at 424.0 ± 2.7 Ma. Garnets grew in the leucosome melt but fractionated out to form garnetite cumulates along with Ti-rich phases (rutile and titanite), strengthening the adakitic signature of the leucosome. Later Grt-bearing leucosome melts with an age of 412.4 ± 2.9 Ma cross-cut boudins and layers of amphibolitized eclogite. Geochemical investigation of bulk-rocks and in situ minerals verifies the genetic relationship between the amphibolitized eclogite and the tonalitic–trondhjemitic melts. Zircons from the amphibolitized eclogite have older (> 700 Ma) protolith ages, with subsequent eclogite-facies metamorphism, retrograde granulite-facies overprinting and partial melting. Phase modeling and Zr-in-rutile thermometry calculations in combination with zircon geochronology reveal the evolution P–T–t path for the exhumation and the partial melting of the deeply subducted continental crust at the North Qaidam subduction zone in the Early Paleozoic.