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Crustal evolution of the Saykhandulaan inlier, Mongolia : implications for Palaeozoic arc magmatism, polyphase deformation and terrane accretion in the southeast Gobi mineral belt

Blight, James H.S.; Cunningham, Dickson; Petterson, Michael G.. 2008 Crustal evolution of the Saykhandulaan inlier, Mongolia : implications for Palaeozoic arc magmatism, polyphase deformation and terrane accretion in the southeast Gobi mineral belt. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 32 (2-4). 142-164. 10.1016/j.jseaes.2007.10.016

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Abstract/Summary

The Saykhandulaan Inlier in South East Mongolia lies within the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB), and records a complex history of Palaeozoic tectonism and magmatism associated with terrane accretion on the northern margin of the Palaeo-Asian ocean. The inlier spans the boundary between the Gobi Altai back-arc basin terrane in the north and the Mandalovoo and Gurvansayhan island-arc terranes in the south which are notable for their many mineralised intrusions, including the Oyu Tolgoi gold-rich copper porphyry deposit. Results from cross-strike transects within the Saykhandulaan Inlier reveal that it can be subdivided into five parallel east–west striking litho-tectonic domains; (1) the Northern Slate Belt, comprising Devonian greenschist grade pelites and psammites with deep-marine to coastal siliciclastic protoliths; (2) the Saykhandulaan Valley Lineament Zone (SVLZ), a tectonised zone of faulted and lithologically altered volcanic rocks; (3) the High Strain Belt, consisting of tightly folded and flattened metamorphosed clastic sedimentary rocks; (4) the Molasse Succession, consisting of relatively undeformed coarse conglomerates and sandstones and, (5) the Oyut Ulaan Volcanic Group, a nearly 5 km-thick folded Carboniferous volcanic succession that hosts the mid-Carboniferous Oyut Ulaan mineralised granite. The Northern Slate Belt metasedimentary rocks record a northerly cratonic provenance, whereas all rocks to the south of the SVLZ have arc affinities. The SVLZ is thus interpreted to be the boundary between the Gobi Altai and Mandalovoo terranes. Two major deformation events are documented; (1) back-arc basin closure and inversion involving regional scale folding and greenschist grade metamorphism in the Northern Slate and High Strain Belts; (2) contraction associated with Mandalovoo terrane accretion and final closure of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean to the south. Following terrane accretion and cessation of subduction, crustal extension and strike-slip faulting further modified the crustal architecture of the inlier. The results presented here provide a useful framework for understanding the crustal evolution of adjacent regions within the southeast Gobi mineral belt.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.jseaes.2007.10.016
Programmes: BGS Programmes > International
ISSN: 1367-9120
Additional Keywords: Mongolia, terranes, inliers, Palaeozoic
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Date made live: 29 May 2008 12:39
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/3150

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