Crustal melting and magma mixing in a continental arc setting: Evidence from the Yaloman intrusive complex in the Gorny Altai terrane, Central Asian Orogenic Belt Journal Article uri icon

DCO ID 11121/7973-3856-8074-1911-CC

is Contribution to the DCO

  • YES

year of publication

  • 2016


  • Granitoids and their hosted mafic enclaves may retain important information on crust–mantle interaction, and thus are significant for study of crustal growth and differentiation. An integrated petrological, geochronological and geochemical study on the granitoid plutons of the Yaloman intrusive complex from the Gorny Altai terrane, northwestern Central Asian Orogenic Belt, was conducted to determine their source nature, petrogenesis and geodynamics. Mafic enclaves are common in the plutons, and a zircon U–Pb age (389 Ma ± 4 Ma) indicates that they are coeval with their granitoid hosts (ca. 393–387 Ma). Petrographic observations reveal that these mafic enclaves probably represent magmatic globules commingled with their host magmas. The relatively low SiO2 contents (46.0–60.7 wt.%) and high Mg# (38.9–56.5) further suggest that mantle-derived mafic melts served as a crucial component in the formation of these mafic enclaves. The granitoid hosts, including quartz diorites and granodiorites, are I-type in origin, possessing higher SiO2 contents (60.2–69.9 wt.%) and lower Mg# (32.0–44.2). Their zircon Hf and whole-rock Nd isotopic compositions indicate that the magmas were dominated by remelting of Neoproterozoic (0.79–1.07 Ga) crustal materials. Meanwhile, the geochemical modeling, together with the common occurrence of igneous mafic enclaves and the observation of reversely zoned plagioclases, suggests that magma mixing possibly contributed significantly to the geochemical variation of the granitoid hosts. Our results imply that mafic magmas from the mantle not only provided substantial heat to melt the lower crust, but also mixed with the crust-derived melts to form the diverse granitoids.
    The oxidizing and water-enriched properties inferred from the mineral assemblages and compositions imply that the granitoid plutons of the Yaloman intrusive complex were possibly formed in a continental arc-related setting, which is also supported by their geochemistry. The Devonian granitoids from the Gorny Altai terrane show remarkable temporal–spatial–petrogenetic affinities to the counterparts from the Altai-Mongolian terrane, indicating that these two terranes were possibly under subduction of the same oceanic plate (i.e., the Ob-Zaisan Ocean). The voluminous granitoids signify significant crustal recycling and growth as a response to the underplating of extensive mantle-derived basaltic melts.

associated DCO Team


  • 252-253