Ductile and Brittle Neogene Deformation of Late Permian Orthogneiss in the Northern Ailao Shan–Red River Shear Zone: View from the Xuelong Shan Block
Abstract:The orthogneisses in the core of the Xuelong Shan block are surrounded by ductile and then brittle fault rocks. This lens-shape block is in fault contact with Triassic marbles on the eastern margin and Jurassic-Cretaceous mudstones on the western margin. The rocks in the core of the Xuelong Shan block contain multiply foliated feldspathic orthogneisses with local amphibolites, largely overprinted by protomylonitic deformation. Foliation strengthens to the east to become mylonites and ultramylonites, with a 30 m wide zone of loosely cemented fault breccia adjacent to brittlely faulted Triassic marbles. In contrast, the rocks to the west are dominated by brittle deformation, with mylonites becoming cataclasites and then breccias facing the mudstones to the east. Well-foliated phyllonites are locally present within the cataclasites. Early S1 gneissosity striking ENE are recognized only in the interior protomylonite. In the east, the dominate mylonitic S2 foliation strikes 340° with a moderate dip to the east, and an L2 mineral stretching lineation plunges gently north. However, in the west S2 cleavage is transposed into a NNW trending schistosity that dips steeply to the ENE, with down-dip mineral stretching lineations.
Whole rock chemistry indicates a granitic to granodioritic protolith for all the rocks including the ultramylonites, but also suggests the progressive loss of alkalis with increasing deformation. Trace element compositions show these rocks lie in the volcanic arc/syn-collisional granite field. U-Pb SHRIMP ages show an Early Triassic age for these granite, with possible Middle Permian inheritance in some cores. These ages are consistent with the period of the closure of the northern Paleo-Tethys ocean. Metamorphic rim ages of ~ 30 Ma record a small amount of zircon dissolution/precipitation probably associated with the Oligocene ductile deformation that produced the upper greenschist facies mylonites. These results support the geologic history of the ASRRSZ based on data obtained in the southern Diancang Shan block. Permian granitoids were intruded and ductily deformed in the Early Triassic. The left lateral shearing that brought these blocks to the surface was delayed until the Neogene extrusion of the Indochina block.