The early Cretaceous orogen-scale Dabieshan metamorphic core complex: implications for extensional collapse of the Triassic HP–UHP orogenic belt in east-central China

Wenbin Ji 1, 2, 3 Wei Lin 2 Michel Faure 1, 3 Yonghong Shi 4 Qingchen Wang 2
3 Géodynamique - UMR7327
BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), ISTO - Institut des Sciences de la Terre d'Orléans - UMR7327 : UMR7327, INSU - CNRS - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers , UO - Université d'Orléans : UMR7327
Abstract : The Dabieshan massif is famous as a portion of the world’s largest HP–UHP metamorphic belt in east-central China that was built by the Triassic North–South China collision. The central domain of the Dabieshan massif is occupied by a huge migmatite-cored dome [i.e., the central Dabieshan dome (CDD)]. Origin of this domal structure remains controversial. Synthesizing previous and our new structural and geochronological data, we define the Cretaceous Dabieshan as an orogen-scale metamorphic core complex (MCC) with a multistage history. Onset of lithospheric extension in the Dabieshan area occurred as early as the commencement of crustal anatexis at the earliest Cretaceous (ca. 145 Ma), which was followed by primary (early-stage) detachment during 142–130 Ma. The central Dabieshan complex in the footwall and surrounding detachment faults recorded a consistently top-to-the-NW shearing. It is thus inferred that the primary detachment was initiated from a flat-lying detachment zone at the middle crust level. Removal of the orogenic root by delamination at ca. 130 Ma came into the extensional climax, and subsequently isostatic rebound resulted in rapid doming. Along with exhumation of the footwall, the mid-crustal detachment zone had been warped as shear zones around the CDD. After 120 Ma, the detachment system probably experienced a migration accommodated to the crustal adjustment, which led to secondary (late-stage) detachment with localized ductile shearing at ca. 110 Ma. The migmatite–gneiss with HP/UHP relicts in the CDD (i.e., the central Dabieshan complex) was product of the Cretaceous crustal anatexis that consumed the deep-seated part of the HP–UHP slices and the underlying para-autochthonous basement. Compared with the contemporaneous MCCs widely developed along the eastern margin of the Eurasian continent, we proposed that occurrence of the Dabieshan MCC shares the same tectonic setting as the “destruction of the North China craton”. However, geodynamic trigger of the Cretaceous continental-scale NW–SE extension in eastern Asia is still a mystery.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 10:19:46 AM
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Wenbin Ji, Wei Lin, Michel Faure, Yonghong Shi, Qingchen Wang. The early Cretaceous orogen-scale Dabieshan metamorphic core complex: implications for extensional collapse of the Triassic HP–UHP orogenic belt in east-central China. International Journal of Earth Sciences, Springer Verlag, 2017, 106, pp.1311-1340. ⟨10.1007/s00531-016-1311-6⟩. ⟨insu-01339888⟩

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