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Journal Article

Rapid lithospheric thinning of the North China Craton: New evidence from cretaceous mafic dikes in the Jiaodong Peninsula


Hofmann,  A. W.
Geochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Ma, L., Jiang, S.-Y., Hofmann, A. W., Xu, Y.-G., Dai, B.-Z., & Hou, M.-L. (2016). Rapid lithospheric thinning of the North China Craton: New evidence from cretaceous mafic dikes in the Jiaodong Peninsula. Chemical Geology, 432, 1-15. doi:10.1016/j.chemgeo.2016.03.027.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-E7D8-E
The North China Craton is a classic case for the destruction of an ancient craton, in that it records the loss of more than 100 km of ancient refractory lithospheric mantle during the late Mesozoic and early Cenozoic. However, the mechanisms for this lithospheric thinning remain controversial in large part due to the lack of any systematic investigations of the Mesozoic asthenospheric mantle via its derived mafic rocks, which are key to understand the thinning processes. In this paper, we present detailed zircon U-Pb geochronology, elemental geochemistry, and Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic data for lamprophyres and diabase-porphyries of the Jiaodong Peninsula, in the eastern North China Craton in order to place constraints on models for lithospheric thinning. Our results show that the lamprophyres and diabase-porphyries are derived from the convective asthenospheric mantle via different degrees of partial melting, and that this mantle source was previously modified by carbonatitic liquids. Zircon LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating suggests an emplacement age for these rocks of 123-121 Ma, the earliest evidence for asthenospherically-derived melts in the Jiaodong Peninsula so far. This emplacement age indicates that the thickness of the lithosphere in the Jiaodong Peninsula was relatively thin at that time. Co-occurrence of the asthenospheric and lithospheric mantle-derived mafic rocks as well as high-Mg adakites record a rapid transition from lithospheric to asthenospheric mantle sources, indicating that the lithosphere beneath the Jiaodong Peninsula was rapidly detached just prior to ca. 120 Ma. Lithospheric thinning of the North China Craton may have been initiated from the Jiaodong Peninsula and Bohai Sea and then propagated towards the interior of the craton. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.