Sm-Nd isochron age of ophiolite along northern margin of Altun Tagh Mountain and its tectonic significance
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An ophiolite belt is exposed to the northern edge of Altun Tagh Mountain. Geochronological researches were made on gabbro and basalt. Sm-Nd isochron age of gabbro is (829 ± 60) Ma, while the age of gabbro mixed basalt is (949 ± 62) Ma. The dating of Sm-Nd isochron proves that ophiolite formed in (829 ± 60) Ma, which implies that the northern half of Tarim (or north Tarim Block) had been separated by an ocean from the southern half of Tarim and Qaidarn (or south Tarim Block) until (829 ± 60) Ma. The south Tarim Block could accrete to the north Tarim Block at the beginning of Sinian, thereby forming the north Altun Tagh suture. The Sinian system would be the first cover on the amalgamated Tarim craton.
KeywordsAltun Tagh Mountain ophiolite Sm-Nd isochron age
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