Research Article: Geological significance of new zircon U–Pb geochronology and geochemistry: Niuxinshan intrusive complex, northern North China Craton

Date Published: March 6, 2019

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Cheng-long Shi, Xiao-zhong Ding, Yan-xue Liu, Jian-zhong Hu, Yang Song, Josh Davies.


The Huajian gold deposit is one of the largest hydrothermal intrusion-related gold deposits in eastern Hebei Province, located in the northern margin of the North China Craton (NCC). The mineralization in this district displays a close spatial association with the shoshonitic Niuxinshan intrusive complex (NIC), which contributes to the characterization of the metallogeny associated with convergent margin magmatism. In the current study, new geochronological and geochemical data are combined with previously published isotopic data, obtained from the granitic rocks in the NIC, to constrain the timing of the district’s tectonic setting transformation and determine its bearing on regional metallogeny. The new geochronological data constrain the timing of the tectonic transformation between 155 and 185 Ma. The NIC’s granitic rocks can be geochemically subdivided into two groups. One group’s geochemical signature exhibits steep rare earth element (REE) patterns with negligible Eu anomalies, lower Yb, higher Sr, and negative Nb–Ta–Ti (NTT) anomalies, which indicate a volcanic-arc environment with a thickened crust in a convergent setting. The other group exhibits flat REE patterns with obvious negative Eu anomalies, higher Yb, lower Sr, and weak NTT anomalies, which indicate an intra-plate extensional environment with a thinning crust. Combining geochronologic and isotopic data, the mineralization is Late Jurassic (~155 Ma). This is interpreted to be genetically related to the crystallization of the shallow crustal-sourced portions of this complex. Additionally, a tectonic model is presented that provides a plausible explanation for the abundant polymetallic mineralization that occurs in the northern margin of the NCC after 155 Ma.

Partial Text

The association of mineralization with shoshonitic magmatism is a characteristic feature of the northern part of the North China Craton (NCC) [1–4]; however, this has not been previously described in detail for Huajian gold deposit (Fig 1).

Samples used for the Zircon U–Pb dating and geochemistry analyses were collected from the NIC located in the Huajian deposit (S1 and S2 Tables), China Geological Survey issued the permission for each location. Fig 2 depicts the distribution and the locations of the granitic rock samples. The detailed mineralogical characteristics of the analyzed samples have been presented in[28], and photomicrographs of the typical samples have been presented in [39]




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