Disclosing the most intense magmatic flare-up in southern Tibet: Insights from study of the Pangduo volcanic-plutonic complex


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The Gangdese arc underwent the most intense magmatic flare-up of southern Tibet in the early Eocene (peaked at ∼50 Ma), generating widespread plutonic and volcanic rocks both along and across the arc. However, the dynamic mechanism for the magmatic flare-up is mysterious. This paper systematically analyzed the petrology, mineralogy, geochronology, and geochemistry of the early Eocene volcanic and intrusive rocks in the Pangduo basin in the eastern Gangdese arc. These rocks yielded identical zircon UPb ages of ∼50 Ma and similar isotopic compositions. The low-silica (< 60 wt%) rocks, including basalt andesite and trachyandesite, result from low degree (2–3%) partial melting of garnet-bearing lithospheric mantle. Based on textural observations and geochemical studies, coupled with Rhyolite-MELTS modeling and zircon trace elements Rayleigh fractionation models, the following research results were obtained. The high-silica rhyolite, ignimbrite, and granite porphyry are the product of limited melt extraction, while the quartz monzonite belongs to the associated residual silicic cumulates. The quartz monzonitic porphyry and trachydacite show a widespread dissolution structure and high formation temperature of ∼850 °C. Whole-rock geochemical mixing model results indicate that they are generated by mixing products of mafic magma, high-silica melts, and remelting melts of quartz monzonite. The volcanic and intrusive rocks in the Pangduo basin are considered as a volcanic-plutonic complex, resulting from the synergistic effect of melt extraction and cognate magma mixing. Both the complex magmatic processes and the early Eocene magmatic flare-up are attributed to mafic magma injection.
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