Early Precambrian tectono-thermal events: coupled U–Pb–Hf of detrital zircons from Jiao–Liao–Ji Belt, North China Craton

  • Zhuang LiEmail author
  • Jie Li
  • Bin Chen
Original Paper


The Dashiqiao Formation on the Liaodong Peninsula constitutes an important component within the Jiao–Liao–Ji Belt, North China Craton. It is composed dominantly of dolomitic marbles intercalated with minor carbonaceous slates and mica schists, hosting one of the largest magnesite deposits on Earth. This study presents zircon cathodoluminescence (CL) images and U–Pb–Hf isotope data, as well as single-mineral geochemical data for the staurolite–garnet–mica schist from the Dashiqiao Formation, in order to constrain its protolith age and provenance, and further to discuss the early Precambrian tectono-thermal events of the North China Craton. U–Pb isotopic dating using the LA–ICP–MS method on detrital zircons from the schist preserves at least three age populations ranging in age from 2.99 to 2.02 Ga, and grains as old as ca 4087 Ma. The dominant Neoarchean detrital zircons were most probably sourced from the basement within the Longgang and Nangrim blocks, while the minor Mesoarchean zircons were only sourced from the Longgang Block. The subordinate middle Paleoproterozoic zircons are consistent with ages of the regionally distributed coeval Liaoji granites and volcanics within the Jiao–Liao–Ji Belt. Zircon U–Pb dating yields a metamorphic age of 1930 Ma for the sample, interpreted to represent the peak stage of epidote amphibolite facies metamorphism. Thus, the depositional age for the protolith of the schist was proposed in the period between 2.01 and 1.93 Ga. LA–MC–ICP–MS Lu–Hf isotopic data show that all Archean (2.45–2.55) detrital zircons possess positive εHf(t) values from + 0.7 to + 7.5 with juvenile depleted mantle model ages, suggesting a significant crustal growth event during the Neoarchean in the North China Craton. The Paleoproterozoic detrital zircons possess variable εHf(t) values (− 5.5–+ 8.3) and depleted mantle model ages from Mesoarchean to Paleoproterozoic. The zircons with negative εHf(t) values implies the Mesoarchean to Neoarchean crust undergoing a recycling event in the period 2.40–2.01 Ga, while those with positive εHf(t) value suggest some indication of juvenile addition to the crust during the Paleoproterozoic. Using regional geological and new detrital zricon U–Pb–Hf isotopic data, the early Precambrian tectono-thermal events can be subdivided into the following episodes: Mesoarchean, late Neoarchean, middle Paleoproterozoic, and late Paleoproterozoic times.


U–Pb age Hf isotope Early Precambrian Multiple tectono-thermal events North China Craton 



The final version of the paper benefited from the constructive comments and careful corrections of the Journal Editor Prof. Abdullah M. Al-Amr and two journal reviewers. Dr. Yan Zhan of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is thanked for his perceptive suggestions and careful corrections on preparing the manuscript for this paper. We are grateful to Dr. Zhiwei Wang of Hebei GEO University for his involvement in the analysis work and Dr. Chaoyang Wang of Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences for his help in the preparation of the figures.

Funding information

This work was funded by the Science Foundation of China University of Petroleum, Beijing (Grant Number: 2462017YJRC032), the Science Foundation of State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum, Beijing (Grant Number: PRP/indep-4-1702), the National Key Basic Research Program of China (Grant Number: 2012CB416603), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Numbers: 41430207 and 90914001).

Supplementary material

12517_2018_3791_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (36 kb)
Supplementary Table S1 (XLSX 35 kb)


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and ProspectingChina University of Petroleum (Beijing)BeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of GeosciencesChina University of Petroleum (Beijing)BeijingChina
  3. 3.The Key Laboratory of Orogenic Belts and Crustal Evolution, School of Earth and Space SciencesPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of GenevaGenevaSwitzerland
  5. 5.Department of Earth and Space SciencesSouthern University of Science and TechnologyShenzhenChina

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