Early Paleozoic magmatism in northern Kontum Massif, Central Vietnam: Insights into tectonic evolution of the eastern Indochina Block

Wei Jiang, Jin-Hai Yu, Xiaolei Wang, W.L.Griffin, Trung Hieu Pham, Dinh Luyen Nguyen Fangqian Wang


The Chu Lai and Dai Loc granitic complexes are distributed on two sides of the early Paleozoic Tam Ky – Phuoc Son suture zone (TPSZ) in the northern Kontum Massif (KTM), central Vietnam. Studies of their petrogeneses and tectonic setting provide new insights into the tectonic evolution of the eastern Indochina Block and its affinity with the South China Block (SCB). Zircon U-Pb dating indicates that the Chu Lai and Dai Loc granites formed at 445–452 Ma and 415–420 Ma, respectively. The Chu Lai granites have high ASI, K2O/Na2O and Rb/Sr as well as strongly negative zircon εHf(t) (−14.6 to −2.9) and complex inherited zircon components, characteristics of typical S–type granites. The Chu Lai granites may be subdivided into two groups based on their geochemistry. However, both groups have similar zircon Hf isotopes and inherited–zircon age spectra, suggesting that they probably were derived from different degrees of partial melting of the same late Neoproterozoic meta–greywacke source at different crustal levels. The Dai Loc granites have variable major– and trace–element contents, ASI, K2O/Na2O, Rb/Sr, and zircon Hf–isotope compositions, indicating that most of them are S–type granites and some are I–type granites, suggesting derivation from heterogeneous sources. The petrology, geochemistry, geochronology and formation temperatures suggest that the Chu Lai granites formed in a syn–collisional setting between the KTM and Truong Son Belt (TSB) and the Dai Loc granites in a post–collision extensional setting triggered by the upwelling asthenosphere mantle. Similarities of age spectra and Hf isotope compositions of inherited zircons from the Chu Lai granites with detrital zircons from the Neoproterozoic sedimentary rocks in Western Cathaysia Block and Tethyan Himalaya suggest they are adjacent each other during the late Neoproterozoic. The ages and zircon Hf–isotope compositions of early Paleozoic granites between the KTM and TSB are consistent with those in the SCB, but different from many other microcontinents from the northern margin of East Gondwana, suggesting that the SCB was close to the KTM and TSB and experienced similar early Paleozoic tectonothermal events. It can be inferred that there was a concealed early Paleozoic subduction zone south of the SCB, connecting with the TPSZ in central Vietnam, and that the far–field effects of the subduction of an unknown oceanic plate triggered the early Paleozoic intracontinental orogeny in the SCB.

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