Geochronological and geochemical feature of the Cenozoic adakites in Hoh Xil, Tibetan Plateau

  • Chaofeng ZhangEmail author
Original Paper


The volcanic rocks in the Tibetan Plateau have undergone complex evolution, as the collision between the Indian and Eurasian Plates proceeds. The volcanic rock samples collected from a volcanic edifice in the Hoh Xil, Tibetan Plateau, are studied in this paper. The geochemistry and zircon U-Pb chronology of the volcanic rock samples are determined. Our results indicate that the volcanic rocks in this area are mostly alkali-rich intermediate-acidic ones, and consist of quartz trachyandesite, andesite, pyroxene andesite, and andesitic tuff. Geochemically, these rocks feature high light rare earth elements and large-ion lithophile elements concentration, with low Nb, Ta, and Ti concentration, and significant Pb positive anomaly. Based on our analysis, we conclude that the volcanic rocks are adakites. The eruption ages of the volcanic rocks in this area are determined for the first time in the literature: 45.23 ± 0.35 Ma for the hornblende trachyandesite; 41.36 ± 0.45 Ma for the biotite trachyandesite; and 42.97 ± 0.23 Ma for the biotite-quartz trachyandesite. This suggests that the volcanic rocks studied in this paper were formed in the Lutetian (Eocene). It is further concluded that the volcanic rocks originated from a mantle provenance that have assimilated large amount of crustal materials. The formation of the volcanic rocks is attributable to the breakoff of oceanic lithospheric slab.


Tibetan plateau Adakite Geochemistry Zircon U-Pb chronology 


  1. Castillo PR (2012) Adakite petrogenesis. Lithos 134-135(3):304–316. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chi XG, Dong CY, Liu JF, Jin W, Li C, Liu S, Li GR (2006) High Mg~# and Low Mg~# potassic-ultrapotassic volcanic rocks and their source nature on the Tibetan plateau. Acta Petrol Sin 22(3):595–602 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  3. Chi XG, Zhang R, Fan LF, Wang LM (2017) The formatting mechanism of Cenozoic basaltic volcanic rocks in the northern Tibet: continental subduction and slab break-off driven by mantle convection and upwelling. Acta Petrol Sin 33(10):3011–3026 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  4. Chung SL, Chu MF, Zhang Y, Xie Y, Lo CH, Lee TY (2005) Tibetan tectonic evolution inferred from spatial and temporal variations in post-collisional magmatism. Earth Sci Rev 68(3–4):173–196. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Condie KC (1973) Archaean magmatism and crustal thickening. Geol Soc Am Bull 84:2981–2992CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Defant MJ, Drummond MS (1990) Derivation of some modern arc magmas by of young subducted lithosphere. Nature 347(6294):662–665. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ding L, Kapp P, Zhong DL, Deng W (2003) Cenozoic volcanism in Tibet: evidence for a transition from oceanic to continental subduction. J Petrol 44(10):1833–1865. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Guo ZF, Wilson M, Zhang LH, Zhang M, Cheng Z, Liu J (2014) The role of subduction channel mélanges and convergent subduction systems in the petrogenesis of post-collisional K-rich mafic magmatism in NW Tibet. Lithos 198-199:184–201. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hodges KV (2000) Tectonics of the Himalaya and southern Tibet from two perspectives. Geol Soc Am Bull 112:324–350.<324:OTHAS>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kapp P, Yin A, Manning CE, Murphy M, Harrison TM, Spurlin M (2000) Blueschist-bearing metamorphic core complexes in the Qiangtang block reveal deep crustal structure of northern Tibet. Geology 28(1):19–22.<19:mccit>;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kind R, Yuan X, Saul J, Nelson D, Sobolev SV, Mechie J, Zhao W, Kosarev G, Ni J, Achauer U, Jiang M (2002) Seismic images of crust and upper mantle beneath Tibet: evidence for Eurasian plate subduction. Science 298(5596):1219–1221. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Lai SC (1999) Petrogenesis of the Cenozoic volcanic rocks from the northern part of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. Acta Petrol Sin 15(1):98–104 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  13. Liu Y, Liu XM, Hu ZC, Diwu CR, Yuan HL, Gao S (2007a) Evaluation of accuracy and long-term stability of determination of 37 trace elements in geological samples by ICP-MS. Acta Petrol Sin 23(5):1203–1210 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  14. Liu XM, Gao S, Diwu CR, Yuan HL, Hu ZC (2007b) Simultaneous in-situ determination of U–Pb age and trace elements in zircon by LA-ICP-MS in 20μm spot size. Chin Sci Bull 52(9):1257–1264. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mania PD, Piccoli PM (1989) Tectonic discrimination of granitoids. Geol Soc Am Bull 101:635–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Middlemost EAK (1994) Naming materials in the magma/igneous rock system. Earth Sci Rev 37(3–4):215–224. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mulch A, Chamberlain CP (2006) The rise and growth of Tibet. Nature 439:670–671. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ormerod DS, Hawkesworth CJ, Rogers NW, Leeman WP, Menzies MA (1988) Tectonic and magmatic transitions in the West Grest Basion, USA. Nature 333(6171):349–353. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Patriat P, Achache J (1984) India-Eurasia collision chronology has implications for crustal shortening and driving mechanism of plates. Nature 311:615–621CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pearce JA, Peate DW (1994) Tectonic implications of the composition of volcanic arc magmas. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci 23(1):251–285. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Rapp PR, Shimizu N, Norman MD, Applegate GS (1999) Reaction between slab derived melts and peridotite in mantle wedge: experimental constraints at 3.8 GPa. Chem Geol 160(4):335–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rowley DB (1998) Minimum age of initiation of collision between India and Asia north of Everest based on the subsidence history of the Zhepure Mountains section. J Geol 106:229–235. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Song PP, Ding L, Li ZY, Peter CL, Yang TS, Zhao XX, Fu JJ, Yue YH (2015) Late Triassic paleolatitude of the Qiangtang block: implications for the closure of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean. Earth Planet Sci Lett 424:69–83. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Stern CR, Kilian R (1996) Role of the subducted slab, mantle wedge and continental crust in the generation of adakites from the Andean austral volcanic zone. Contrib Mineral Petrol 123(3):263–281. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sun SS, McDonough WF (1989) Chemical and isotopic systematics of oceanic basalt: implications for mantle composition and process. In: Saunders AD and Norry MJ (eds). Magmatism in the Ocean Basins. Spc. Publ. Geol. Soc. Lond. 42:313–345Google Scholar
  26. Turner S, Hawkesworth C, Liu JQ, Rogers N, Kelley S, Van Calsteren P (1993) Timing of Tibetan uplift constrained by analysis of volcanic rocks. Nature 364(6432):50–54. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wang Q, Wyman DA, Xu JF, Dong Y, Vasconcelos PM, Pearson N (2008) Eocene melting of subducting continental crust and early uplifting of Central Tibet: evidence from central-western Qiangtang high-K calc-alkaline andesites, dacites and rhyolites. Earth Planet Sci Lett 272(1–2):158–171. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Williams HM, Turner SP, Pearce JA, Kelley SP, Harris NBW (2004) Nature of the source regions for post-collisional, potassic magmatism in southern and northern Tibet from geochemical variations and inverse trace element modeling. J Petrol 45(3):555–607. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wilson M (1989) Igneous petrology: a global tectonic approach. Unwin Hyman, London, pp 1–466CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wu GJ, Xiao XC, Li TD (1989) The Yadong-Golmud geoscience section on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. Acta Geol Sin (4):285–296 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  31. Wu FY, Huang BC, Ye K, Fang AM (2008) Collapsed Himalayan-Tibetan orogen and the rising Tibetan plateau. Acta Petrol Sin 24(1):1–30 (in Chinese with English abstract). CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Xu ZQ, Yang JS, Hou ZQ, Zhang ZM, Zeng LS, Li HB, Zhang JX, Li ZH, Ma XX (2016) The progress in the study of continental dynamics of the Tibetan Plateau. Geol China 43(1):1–42 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  33. Yin A, Harrison TM (2000) Geologic evolution of the Himalayan-Tibetan orogen. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci 28:211–280. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zhao ZH, Wang Q, Xiong XL (2004) Complex mantle-crust interaction in subduction zone. Bull Mineral Petrol Geochem 23(4):277–284. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Zindle A, Hart SR (1986) Chemical geodynamic. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci 14:493–571CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Continental Dynamics, Department of GeologyNorthwest UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.No. 203 Research Institute of Nuclear IndustryXianyangChina

Personalised recommendations