Plutonic-Subvolcanic Connection of the Himalayan Leucogranites: Insights from the Eocene Lhunze Complex, Southern Tibet
The Lhunze region of southeast Tibet uniquely juxtaposes Cenozoic granitic plutons with subvolcanic rocks in the Tethyan Himalayan Sequence. In this study, the potential petrogenetic connection between two-mica granite and subvolcanic rhyolite porphyry from the Lhunze area is investigated using petrology, geochronology, and geochemistry. Monazite Th—Pb ages imply the two-mica granite crystallized during the mid-Eocene at c. 43.5–43.1 Ma, consistent with previous zircon U—Pb isotope data. Monazite in the porphyry also records Th—Pb ages of c. 44.5–42.9 Ma, suggesting contemporaneous emplacement with the two-mica granite. Porphyritic structure, feldspar aggregates and comb alignment demonstrate that the two-mica granite resulted from transient melt flow associated with melt extraction. Some plagioclase phenocrysts from the porphyry have consistent An contents with the two-mica granite, indicating that both the two-mica granite and the porphyry probably originated from a similar melt. However, the porphyry has a higher SiO2 concentration (72.2–75.9 wt%) than the two-mica granite (69.0–73.0 wt%). In addition, the porphyry is characterized by lower TiO2, MgO, CaO, Ba, Sr, and Zr contents as well as Zr/Hf, Sr/Y, Nb/Ta ratios than the two-mica granite. Moreover, strontium and REE contents of monazite in both the two-mica granite and porphyry also imply that crystal fractionation dominated melt evolution. Whole-rock Sr—Nd and in situ monazite Nd isotope compositions indicate that the porphyry is slightly more radiogenic than the two-mica granite, implying that the porphyry likely assimilated more ancient country rocks during its evolution. We interpret the two-mica granite and porphyry as comagmatic intrusives linked by fractional crystallization of a cognate magma mush, in which the crystals accumulated to form the two-mica granite, and the complementary high silicic melt segregated to form the porphyry. Plagioclase accumulation is responsible for the generation of the high Sr/Y adakitic geochemical feather within two-mica granite. The scenario of complementary melt extraction and crystal fractionation might also have been an important process in forming the Himalayan leucogranites. Regionally, Neo-Tethyan slab breakoff during the Eocene could have increased mantle heat flow and triggered the generation and extraction of large volumes of silicic melt.
Liu, Xiao-Chi; Wu, Fu-Yuan; Kohn, Matthew J.; Liu, Zhi-Chao; Ji, Wei-Qiang; Wang, Jia-Min; . . . and He, Shao-Xiong. (2022). "Plutonic-Subvolcanic Connection of the Himalayan Leucogranites: Insights from the Eocene Lhunze Complex, Southern Tibet". Lithos, 434-435, 106939. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lithos.2022.106939