Journal of Earth Science

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 460–475 | Cite as

Is the Songshugou Complex, Qinling Belt, China, an Eclogite Facies Neoproterozoic Ophiolite?

  • Thomas BaderEmail author
  • Lifei Zhang
  • Xiaowei Li
Special Issue on Ophiolite, Orogenic Magmatism and Metamorphism Dedicated to IGCP 649: Diamonds and Recycled Mantle


Ophiolites play a key role in understanding subduction-accretion-collision processes. Herein, we discuss origin and metamorphic evolution of an enigmatic, Neoproterozoic ophiolite candidate—the mafic-ultramafic Songshugou Complex, Qinling belt, China—summarizing published thermobarometry, U/Pb geochronology, and geochemistry and presenting new phase equilibrium modeling. Garnet, rarely preserved in amphibolites of the Songshugou Complex, has prograde zoning and low-pyrope cores [Alm54−71 (Grs+And)25−30Prp1−6Sps5−12]. It formed at quartz eclogite facies conditions of 1.93–2.54 GPa, 462–542 °C. During exhumation, garnet first was mantled by plagioclase-rich coronas at about 0.7–1.2 GPa, 660–710 °C. During an isothermal uplift to 0.5–0.8 GPa, these coronas evolved widely into σ-shaped aggregates and eventually into whitish ribbons oriented with a steeply southwest dipping mineral stretching lineation. The exhumation into middle-upper crustal levels proceeded till the Late Devonian. The oceanic protoliths of the eclogites were emplaced into continental crust in the Neoproterozoic and dragged into a subduction zone in North Qinling in the Cambrian. The ultramafic rocks of the Songshugou Complex were not subducted with the mafic rocks in a coherent block given the absence of garnet but ubiquitous occurrence of spinel implies a P maximum of ≈1.7 GPa. Rather, mafic and ultramafic rocks belonged to downgoing and overriding plate, respectively. They were juxtaposed at 0.8–1.7 GPa at Early Ordovician time.


Qinling belt Songshugou Complex garnet isopleth thermobarometry eclogite Early Paleozoic 


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This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41350110224, 41750110483, 41730426, 41872066), and the Open Research Project of the State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, China University of Geosciences (No. GPMR201820). We are grateful to Prof. Xiaochun Liu for his excellent field guidance. We thank Oona Appelt, Guiming Shu, and Xiaoli Li for operating the microprobe. Numerous diagrams were plotted with GMT (Wessel et al., 2013; Pointed criticism by two anonymous reviewers and the editors helped to improve the conclusiveness and the clarity of the manuscript. The final publication is available at Springer via

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Is the Songshugou Complex, Qinling Belt, China, an Eclogite Facies Neoproterozoic Ophiolite?

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Copyright information

© China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, Part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Orogenic Belts and Crustal Evolution, Ministry of Education, School of Earth and Space SciencesPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, School of Earth Sciences and ResourcesChina University of GeosciencesBeijingChina

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