Acta Geochimica

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 257–280 | Cite as

Constraints on sedimentary ages of the Chuanlinggou Formation in the Ming Tombs, Beijing, North China Craton: LA-ICP-MS and SHRIMP U–Pb dating of detrital zircons

  • Jing Ding
  • Yuruo Shi
  • Alfred Kröner
  • J. Lawford Anderson
Original Article


Detrital zircons in five sedimentary samples, MC1 to MC5, from the bottom of the Chuanlinggou Formation in the Ming Tombs District, Beijing, were dated with the LA-ICP-MS and SHRIMP U–Pb methods. Age spectra of the five samples show a major peak at 2500 Ma and a secondary peak at 2000 Ma, suggesting their provenances were mainly from the crystalline basement of the North China Craton and the Trans-North China Orogen. The youngest zircon has an age of 1673 ± 44 Ma, indicating that the Chuanlinggou Formation was deposited after this age. From sample MC4 to MC5, lithology changed from a clastic rock (fine-grained sandstone) to a carbonate rock (fine-grained dolomite), suggesting that the depositional basin became progressively deeper. The age spectrum of sample MC5 shows a major peak at 2500 Ma and a secondary peak at 2000 Ma. Sample MC4, which is stratigraphically lower than sample MC5, only had one peak at 2500 Ma. We conclude that there was a transgressive event when sediments represented by MC5 was deposited, and seawater carried ca. 2000 Ma clastic materials to the basin where the Chuanlinggou Formation was deposited, leading to the addition of ca. 2000 Ma detritus. Our research indicates that the source area for the sediments became more extensive with time. We conclude that the Chuanlinggou Formation in the Ming Tombs District was deposited in a low-energy mud flat sedimentary environment in the inter-supra tidal zone because it is mainly composed of silty mudstone and fine-grained sandstone with relatively simple sedimentary structures.


Detrital zircon LA-ICP-MS U–Pb ages SHRIMP Chuanlinggou Formation Ancient sedimentary environment North China Craton 



We thank Professors Tianrui Song and Jiashan Wu for their comments and discussions, and thank Miss Weilin Gan and Qingmin Du for their help during mount making. This research was financially supported by the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources (Grant No. 201311116), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41173065), Ministry of Science and Technology (No. 2012FY120100), and the Basic Outlay of Scientific Research Work from the Ministry of Science and Technology (Grant No. J1403).


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Geochemistry, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing Ding
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yuruo Shi
    • 1
  • Alfred Kröner
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. Lawford Anderson
    • 4
  1. 1.Beijing SHRIMP Center, Institute of GeologyChinese Academy of Geological SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.China University of GeosciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institut für GeowissenschaftenUniversität MainzMainzGermany
  4. 4.Department of Earth and EnvironmentBoston UniversityBostonUSA

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