Crustal structure and geodynamic of the Middle and Lower reaches of Yangtze metallogenic belt and neighboring areas: insights from deep seismic reflection profiling

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Qingtian Lu, Danian Shi, Zhendong Liu, Yongqian Zhang and Jinhua Zhao, Institute of Mineral Resources, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing, China
A 300 km deep seismic reflection profile across the middle and lower Yangtze River metallogenic belt (YRMB) and its adjacent areas established the architecture and geodynamic framework of the region. Results based on the interpretation of the deep seismic data include the deep complicated geometry of the Tan-Lu fault and Zhangbaling uplift, appears as a subvertical thrust fault with its deep portion dip toward the southeast, and along which the Zhangbaling uplift is squeezed out; complex upper crust deformation structure beneath Chuquan depression, within which there are both kink bands, thrusts, imbrication and fold structures reflecting contraction deformation, and detachment fault and normal-fault structures reflecting extensional deformation; the “crocodile” reflection structure emerging beneath the Tan-Lu fault and Ningwu–Lishui volcanic basin, i.e., the upper crust reflection thrust upward, and the lower crust reflection thrust downward and offsetting the Moho discontinuity, which reflects the decoupled deformation process of the upper and lower crust, and is interpreted as an intracontinental subduction. Further to the southeast, the upper crust deformation shows a large-scale “wave-form” pattern, making crustal scale syncline and anticline. The entire section of the reflection Moho is clearly discernible at depth of 30.0–34.5 km, and the Moho beneath the YRMB is shallowest, while the Moho beneath the North China block is deeper than that beneath the Yangtze block. Moho offsets could be seen beneath the Ningwu volcanic basin.

Overall, the seismic data show evidence for an intracontinental orogeny and imposes constraints on the deep geodynamic model applied to study region. Our interpretation of seismic profile supports the view that the Yanshanian orogeny, due to the northwest subduction of the paleo-Pacific plate during the Middle–Late Jurassic, is the major event that shaped the tectonic framework of the region. A geodynamic model is proposed for the formation of the world-class metallogenic belt, this model includes several key deep processes, e.g., the subduction of intracontinental sublithosphere, the thickening and delamination of crustal roots, the melting of delaminated lower crust and underplating of the melts to the crust-mantle boundary and subsequent MASH processes.