Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 7-2016

Publication Title

Precambrian Research





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Yangtze craton, Miaowan Ophiolite Complex, Rodinia, Amphibolite facies metamorphism, Grenvillian orogeny


Constraining the timing of tectonothermal events in the Proterozoic Miaowan Ophiolite Complex (MOC) and associated rocks in the southern Huangling dome, Yangtze craton, is critical for understanding late Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic tectonic evolution (ca. 1.2–0.9 Ga) of South China and its relationship with the formation of the Rodinian supercontinent. The MOC consists of metamorphosed dunite and harzburgite, isotropic and layered gabbros, diabasic sheeted dike, basalt, plagiogranite, and calc-silicatebearing siliceous and carbonaceous mylonitic rocks. In this study, we present new field, petrographic, geochemical, geochronological and isotopic data for these metasedimentary rocks and mylonitic metasandstone between the ophiolite and underlying flysch sequence, to unravel their origin and tectonic significance for the Yangtze craton. The MOC and associated sedimentary rocks underwent amphibolite facies metamorphism. Geochemical data and field relationships indicate that the mylonitic metasandstone was derived from both the autochthonous rocks of the underlying Yangtze craton and the allochthonous MOC during the accretion of the ophiolite to the craton. The calc-silicate-bearing siliceous and carbonaceous rocks are interpreted as tectonic slices of metasomatized and mylonitized chert and limestone, respectively, deposited on the basaltic crust in a Neoproterozoic ocean. Cores of igneous detrital zircons in the calc-silicate-bearing siliceous and carbonaceous mylonitic rocks have yielded two distinct age groups including a 967–1105 Ma (Mean = 1009 Ma) group and a 1011–1095 Ma (Mean = 1054 Ma) group. The majority of initial eHf(t) values (+9.2 to +14.1) in the zircon cores are similar to those of zircons from the gabbro, diabase and plagiogranite in the MOC, indicating that zircons in the mylonitic rocks were mainly derived from the MOC. Metamorphic overgrowth ages in zircon rims suggest that the latest tectonothermal event in the Precambrian basement rocks of the Yangtze craton took place between 942 and 935 Ma. These metamorphic ages are comparable to those of the Grenvillian-aged collisional events recorded in orogenic belts worldwide. Accordingly, we suggest that this youngest tectonothermal event represents the latest amalgamation time of the heterogeneous tectonic blocks of the Yangtze craton, which were associated with the assembly of the Rodinian supercontinent.

Funding Reference Number

NSERC, 250926