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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-76
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-76
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 08 May 2019

Research article | 08 May 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).

Tempo-spatial variation of the late Mesozoic volcanism in Southeast China testing the western Paleo-Pacific Plate subduction models

Xianghui Li1,2, Xianghui Li1, Jingyu Wang1, Chaokai Zhang1, Yin Wang3, and Ling Liu3 Xianghui Li et al.
  • 1State Key Laboratory for Mineral Deposits Research, School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • 2Institute of Sedimentary Geology, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, China
  • 3East China Mineral Exploration and Development Bureau, Nanjing 210007, China

Abstract. The westward subduction of Paleo-Pacific plate (PPP) played a governing role in tectonic evolution of East Asia. Although various PPP subduction models have been proposed, the subduction age and dynamical process of the PPP remain controversial. In this study, we investigate the geochronology of extrusive rocks and tempo-spatial variations of the late Mesozoic volcanism in Southeast China. We reported zircon U-Pb ages of new 48 extrusive rock samples in the Shi-Hang tectonic zone. Together with the published data, ages of ~ 300 rock samples from ~ 40 lithostratigraphic units were compiled, potentially documenting a relatively complete history and spatial distribution of the late Mesozoic volcanism in Southeast China. The results show that the extrusive rocks spanned ~ 95 Myr (177–82 Ma), but dominantly ~ 70 Myr (160–90 Ma), with two main age populations of 145–125 Ma and 105–95 Ma. We propose that these ages represent the intervals of the Yanshanian volcanism in Southeast China and the western subduction of the PPP, within which two intensive volcanic eruptional pulses happened. Spatially, the age geographic pattern of extrusive rocks is both the oldest and youngest age clusters occurring in the CZ and the younger intensive group in the SHTB, indicating that the late Mesozoic volcanism migrated northwestly from the coast to the inland prior to ~ 145 Ma and subsequently retreated southeastly back to the coast. This migration pattern is interpreted to result from a northwestward subduction followed by a southeastward rollback or retreat of the PPP.

Xianghui Li et al.
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Short summary
Western Pacific plate subduction played a key role in the late Mesozoic geologic evolution of East Asia. New and published zircon U-Pb ages of extrusive rocks are compiled in Southeast China. Results show that the volcanism mainly spanned ~ 70 million years (Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous) and migrated northwestly from coast to inland ~ 145 million years ago and retreated southeastly to coast, resulting from northwestward subduction followed by southeastward retreat of western Pacific plate.
Western Pacific plate subduction played a key role in the late Mesozoic geologic evolution of...
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