Early Palaeozoic arc-related gabbro-diorite suite in East Junggar, southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt: petrogenesis and tectonic implications

The Armantai and Kalamaili oceans were both important branches of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean between the Altai microcontinent and the Junggar juvenile crust; however, their geological evolution is not completely clear. This paper reports detailed petrological, zircon geochronological, whole-rock elemental and Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic data for a newly discovered gabbro-diorite suite (Akputo pluton) in East Junggar to constrain this issue. Quartz diorite and hornblende gabbro yield intrusion 206Pb/238U ages of ca. 444–440 Ma, which indicates that mafic-intermediate magmatism occurred in the earliest Silurian. The gabbroic-dioritic rocks have tholeiite to calc-alkaline affinities and are characterised by moderately fractionated rare earth element patterns with flat heavy rare earth elements, enrichment in Rb, Ba, K, Sr, and depletion in Nb, Ta, Ti. Low initial Sr and Pb isotopic compositions and positive εNd(t) indicate a derivation from the isotopically depleted mantle sources. The geochemical compositions and melting calculations suggest that the gabbro-diorite suite originated from partial melting of spinel-bearing mantle sources that had been metasomatised by subduction-derived fluids and sediments. The Akputo intrusions formed in an arc setting related to the southward subduction of the Armantai Ocean. Taking the regional angular unconformity between the Ordovician sediments and Silurian volcanics into account, we further suggest that the Early to Middle Silurian was a transition period of the closure of Armantai Ocean and the initial spreading of Kalamaili Ocean.