Geochronological and geochemical constraints on the petrogenesis of Early Eocene metagabbroic rocks in Nabang (SW Yunnan) and its implications on the Neotethyan slab subduction
Abstract Mafic rocks similar to those of the Gangdese belt have been poorly reported in the Nabang area (SW Yunnan Province in SW China) of the Eastern Himalayan Syntaxis. This led to a widely-accepted assumption that Early Eocene mafic rocks are absent in Nabang. This paper reports new zircon U–Pb, Lu–Hf isotopic, whole-rock elemental and Sr–Nd isotopic data for the recently identified Tongbiguan and Jinzhuzhai metagabbroic plutons. Our data show that the two mafic plutons crystallized at 53.2 ± 0.4 Ma and 53.6 ± 0.7 Ma, respectively, with zircon in-situ eHf(t) values ranging from − 3.1 to + 4.9. Our data confirm the presence of Early Eocene mafic rocks in Nabang, contemporaneous with the major magmatic flare-ups of ~ 52 Ma in South Tibet. The rocks show high-K calc-alkaline basalt and basaltic andesite composition. They are characterized by subparallel spiky patterns with enrichment in LILEs, depletion in HFSEs and P–Ti negative anomalies. They show (Nb/La)n = 0.21–0.63, Ce/Pb = 2.99–9.91 and Nb/U = 5.2–14.1, along with high 87Sr/86Sr(t) ratios of 0.7061–0.7077 and eNd(t) values of − 3.4 to − 5.6. Such geochemical signatures are similar to those of the synchronous Dangxung gabbroic and Yangbajing ultrapotassic rocks. Their least-contaminated samples can petrogenetically be attributed to input of slab-derived fluid into the lithospheric mantle. In conjunction with other available data, the mafic suite can be geochronologically and geochemically correlated to those in South Lhasa and are probably the equivalents of the Gangdese southeastward extension. Their formation might tectonically be related to slab rollback in response to the decreasing convergence rate. The termination of the Neotethyan subduction in SW Yunnan might be later than ~ 52 Ma, identical to that in South Tibet.