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Wang Y.,Beijing Institute of Geology for Mineral Resources | Wang Y.,CAS Institute of Geology and Geophysics | Wang Y.,Sino Technology Metals Exploration Co. | Wang Y.,China University of Geosciences | And 16 more authors.
Geoscience Frontiers | Year: 2012

The extension of the suture zone between the Siberian and Kazakhstan continents in China has been a matter of debate because few outcrops of ophiolitic mélange have been found so far. The recently found Tuerkubantao ophiolitic mélange, which is located east of the Kekesentao Mt. in the Buerjin County of the Chinese Altay, provides an important clue for this problem. This paper presents the results of field investigation, petrology, U-Pb isotope dating of zircons and bulk-rock geochemistry of the Tuerkubantao mélange rocks. The mélange consists of fault-contacted ultramafic rocks, gabbro, diabase, basalt, flysch and granitoids. The ultramafic-mafic rocks are Mg-rich ( #Mg = 4.25-6.35) and w(SiO 2) spans 38.8%-46.8%. Basalt and gabbro are geochemically similar and are characterized by low w(FeO t) (10.9%), total alkali w(Na 2O + K 2O) = 2.58%) and w(TiO 2) (1.17%) and affinity to the Mg-rich tholeiite series. The flat REE and trace-element patterns of the ultramafic-mafic rocks are indicative of their ophiolite origin, i.e., formation in a mid-oceanic ridge setting. The fragments of low-K gneissic granite formed in suprasubduction or syn-collisional setting. Zircons from gabbro and gneissic granite yielded U-Pb ages of 363 and 355 Ma, respectively, suggesting Late Devonian mid-oceanic spreading and oceanic subduction accompanied by suprasubduction magmatism. The Tuerkubantao ophiolite together with the Qiaoxiahala and Buergen ophiolites of the Kekesentao belt define an ophiolitic mélange belt extending along the Erqis fault. This belt probably belongs to the Ural-Zaisan-South Mongolian suture-shear zone formed during the subduction of the Paleo-Asian Ocean and subsequent collision of the Siberian and Kazakhstan continents. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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