September 2014 LIP of the Month

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1:2 000 000 map of Precambrian mafic magmatism in the North China Craton

Peng Peng

State Key Laboratory of Lithospheric Evolution, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China; pengpengwj@mail.iggcas.ac.cn

This is extracted and modified from the following paper:

Peng P, 2014. Precambrian mafic dyke swarms in the North China Craton and their geological implications. Science China-Earth Sciences, in press.

Major dyke swarms and sill provinces around the world have been studied in the context of being the plumbing systems of Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) (Ernst et al., 2001, 2014). Maps of regional dykes and sills can also be useful in constraining paleogeographic reconstruction of different cratons during supercontinent cycles (e.g., Bleeker et al., 2006; Ernst et al., 2013). With such a context in mind, a map of major Precambrian mafic dyke swarms, as well as some other types of mafic magmatism such as sills, volcanics and plutons, in the North China Craton has been compiled recently (Fig. 1; Peng, 2014). Figure 2 is a simplified version of this map; while Figure 3 is a geological ‘barcode’ of the main events. According to this map, dykes in the North China Craton can be grouped into five major periods: 1) Archean (2540-2500 Ma); 2) Paleoproterozoic (2150-1880 Ma); 3) late Paleoproterozoic (1780-1620 Ma); 4) Mesoproterozoic (1320-1230 Ma); and 5) Neoproterozoic (925-820 Ma). Most are considered to have an intraplate origin and could be parts of LIPs. An exception is the 1950-1890 Ma Xuwujia and Halaqin sills. Of all the groups, the Archean and Paleoproterozoic (2540–1880 Ma) swarms were metamorphosed and could constrain the tectonic amalgamation of the Craton; whereas the late Paleoproterozoic to Neoproterozoic (1800-800 Ma) swarms were unmetamorphosed and are important in paleogeographic reconstruction.

1. Neoarchean dykes (2540-2500 Ma)

These include the 2540 Ma Yanlingguan anorthositic dykes (Peng, 2014) and 2510 Ma Huangbaiyu gabbroic dykes (Li TS et al., 2010). These dykes were deformed and metamorphosed to greenschist to amphibolite facies. They are known to be distributed locally: the 2540 Ma Yanlingguan anorthositic dykes are from western Shandong province; while the 2510 Ma Huangbaiyu gabbroic dykes are from eastern Hebei province (Fig. 1).



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Figure 1: 1:2 000 000 geological map of Precambrian mafic intrusives of the North China Craton (Peng, 2014).


Figure 2: Sketch map showing the generalized distribution of Proterozoic mafic dyke/sill swarms and rifts of the North China Craton (Peng, 2014).


Figure 3: Geological ‘barcode’ of key magmatic events in the North China Craton. The vertical width of the bars reflects the 2-sigma uncertainty in age; horizontal width is arbitrary.

2. Paleoproterozoic (Rhyacian–Orosirian, 2200–1880 Ma) dykes and sills

2200-1880 Ma dykes and sills comprise the 2150 Ma Hengling sill swarm (Peng et al., 2005), the 2120 Ma Haicheng sill swarm (Dong et al., 2012; Peng, 2014), the 2090 Ma Zanhuang sill swarm (Peng, 2014), the 2050 Ma Yixingzhai dyke swarm (Peng et al., 2012a), the 1970 Ma Xiwangshan dyke swarm (Peng et al., 2005), the 1950-1930 Ma Xuwujia sill swarm (Peng et al., 2010), and the 1890 Ma Halaqin dyke swarm (Peng, 2014). The 2150-1970 Ma sills and dykes are distributed in the Eastern North China Craton and were evolved with the development of the Hengling intra-continental rift system; whereas the 1950-1890 Ma sills and dykes are distributed in the Western North China Craton and were likely linked to a continental arc rift, the Xuwujia rift (Peng et al., 2012a).

3. Late Paleoproterozoic (Statherian, 1800–1600 Ma) dykes

1800-1600 Ma dyke swarms are composed of the 1780-1770 Ma Taihang (Qian et al., 1987; Halls et al., 2000; Hou et al., 2001; Wang et al., 2004; Peng et al., 2005, 2008), the 1730 Ma Miyun (Peng et al., 2012b), the 1680 Ma Laiwu (Peng, 2014) and the 1620 Ma Taishan (Xiang et al., 2012; Liu et al., 2013) dyke swarms (Figs. 1, 2 &3). The 1730-1680 Ma anorthosite–rapakivi granite–dyke complex occurs mainly as small plutons or stocks in and around the Yan-Liao rift (Rämö et al., 1995; Zhao et al., 2004; Zhang et al., 2007; Wang et al., 2013; Fig. 2). There are also 1620 Ma potassic volcanics in the Yan-Liao rift (Lu et al., 2008). The 1780-1770 Ma Taihang swarm cuts across the central NCC with a north-south extent of over 1000 km. A radiating geometry has been revealed (Fig. 2; Peng, 2010). Their eruptive counterparts (Peng et al., 2008; Cui et al., 2010), the Xiong’er volcanics have a thickness up to 7000 m and consist of three branches, i.e., two branches along the southern margin of the NCC and a third one extending northward into the craton interior (Fig. 2). The 1780 Ma Taihang and 1730 Ma Miyun dyke swarms were associated with the evolution of the Xiong’er rift centered in the southern margin of the craton; whereas the 1680 Ma Laiwu and 1620 Ma Taishan dykes were related to the active Yan-Liao rift along the northern margin of the craton.

4. Mesoproterozoic (Calymmian–Ectasian, 1600–1200 Ma) dykes/sills

There are minor tuff and K-bentonite beds during 1560-1360 Ma (Li HK et al., 2010; Gao et al., 2007, 2008; Su et al., 2008, 2010). A major sill swarm has occurred at ~1320 Ma in the Yan-Liao rift (Zhang et al., 2009, 2012; Li et al., 2009; Fig. 2), and thus is associated with the evolution of this rift. Further west, there is a newly identified 1320 Ma Datong dyke swarm (Peng, 2014). In the heart area of the craton, there is a 1230 Ma Licheng dyke swarm. There are also minor ~1209 Ma Yishui gabbroic intrusives in the western Shandong area (Peng et al., 2013).

5. Neoproterozoic (Tonian, 1000–800 Ma) dykes and sills

The 925 Ma Dashigou dyke swarm is widely distributed in the central NCC (central–northern Shanxi, northwestern Hebei, and Inner–Mongolia) and a few related dykes have been identified in the east (Taishan Mts.) (Peng et al., 2011a). These dykes possibly have a radiating geometry that focuses along the south-eastern margin of the NCC in the Xu-Huai rift, in which there are sill swarms with ages varying from 925 Ma to 900 Ma (Peng et al., 2011b; Wang et al., 2012). Another swarm, the 810 Ma Qianlishan dyke swarm with a more restricted distribution, mainly in the Helanshan and Qianlishan Mts. (Inner Mongolia and Ningxia) (Fig. 2) has been newly recognized (Peng, 2014).

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