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Fast cooling following a Late Triassic metamorphic and magmatic pulse: implications for the tectonic evolution of the Korean collision belt

Abstract : We discuss the evolution of Korea in the context of a relatively short-lived, tectonically induced, magmatic and metamorphic pulse that affected large portions of the crust of the peninsula's southern part during the Late Triassic. Recent 40Ar/39Ar single grain laser step-heating dates imply a prolonged metamorphic recrystallization between 243 and 220 Ma, which occurred in distinct phases that were not coeval throughout the peninsula. We obtained identical plateau ages between 231.4 ± 0.8 and 228.9 ± 0.8 Ma (1σ; 85–95% 39Ar release) on single grains of detrital muscovite from Jurassic sandstones (Gimpo Group). A literature review shows that the ages of detrital muscovites are identical to: (1) concordant 40Ar/39Ar ages of biotite (228 Ma) and amphibole (230 Ma) in amphibolites of the Deokjeongri Gneiss Formation and the Weolhyeonri Complex, pointing to very rapid cooling of 100–150 °C/Ma, and (2) 231–229 Ma muscovite from the low-grade metamorphic mid-Paleozoic turbidites of the Taean Formation. The efficiency of cooling is further underlined by the near-coincidence of these 40Ar/39Ar ages with 243–229 Ma (average: 234.6 Ma) zircon U–Pb ages in the Gyeonggi Massif and the Hongseong belt, in the literature. It is argued that the Late Triassic magmatic and metamorphic pulse is superimposed on an earlier tectono-metamorphic event, possibly related to collision, indicated by: (1) ~ 243–237 Ma muscovite ages, or age components in age spectra, and (2) two generations of folds and associated tectonic foliations truncated by ~ 229.5-Ma-old syenites and earlier mafic dykes. The Late Triassic thermal pulse could have been the result of post-collisional delamination of the lower crust and uppermost mantle, and/or oceanic slab break-off, which is also suggested by almost coeval, widespread mantle-sourced Mg-rich potassic magmatism. Continuing ductile deformation is shown by mylonitization of Late Triassic magmatic rocks; an ~ 220 Ma muscovite age may be related to this.
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Koen de Jong, Seokyoung Han, Gilles Ruffet. Fast cooling following a Late Triassic metamorphic and magmatic pulse: implications for the tectonic evolution of the Korean collision belt. Tectonophysics, Elsevier, 2015, Special issue on Comparative tectonic and dynamic analysis of cratons, orogens, basins, and metallogeny, 662, pp.271-290. ⟨10.1016/j.tecto.2015.06.016⟩. ⟨insu-01169997⟩

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