Early Mesozoic magmatism and tectonic evolution of the Qinling Orogen: Implications for oblique continental collision

Fangyang Hu, Shuwen Liu, Mihai N. Ducea, James B. Chapman, Fuyuan Wu, Timothy Kusky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The Qinling Orogenic Belt in Central China is formed by an oblique continental collision between the North China and South China Blocks. In this review, we summarize the knowledge of the early Mesozoic magmatism, in combination with the coeval metamorphic characteristics, regional structural features and depositional history in the foreland and hinterland basins along the Qinling-Dabie Orogen. The early Mesozoic tectonic evolution of the Qinling is divided into four stages. Stage I (~250–235 Ma) is characterized by medium-K calc-alkaline magmatism in the western Qinling induced by slab roll-back. Meanwhile, ultrahigh-pressure metamorphism was triggered by continental subduction in the Sulu-Dabie, indicating a diachronous closure of the ocean. Stage II (~235–225 Ma) is recognized as a magmatic gap. Depositional variations of sedimentary facies and compressional deformations with an increased crustal thickness reflect the initial collision in the Qinling. Stage III (~225–210 Ma) is distinguished by a magmatic flare-up event. Abundant mantle-derived melts coupled with extensive crustal-derived melts were coeval with rapid uplift, strike-slip movement and regional crustal thickening in the Qinling as well as retrograde metamorphism in the Sulu-Dabie. The main tectonic driver was the propagating detachment of the subducted oceanic slab at gradually shallower depth from the Sulu-Dabie to the Qinling. Stage IV (~210–190 Ma) magmatism is dominated by high silica granites derived from metasedimentary rocks. The rapid denudation rates and extensional structures indicate gravitational collapse and regional delamination of the thickened crust. In addition to the strike-slip faults and block extrusion, the Qinling is characterized by asymmetric distribution patterns of magmatism and metamorphism, different melting mechanisms over time; diachronous depositions, differential uplift and non-uniform crustal thickening, and regional delamination of the thickened orogenic root. All these features are the result of the oblique collision, which is a common process in nature, and therefore could be applied to other orogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-332
Number of pages37
JournalGondwana Research
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Asymmetric pattern
  • Magmatic mechanism
  • Oblique continental collision
  • Qinling orogen
  • Tectonic evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


Dive into the research topics of 'Early Mesozoic magmatism and tectonic evolution of the Qinling Orogen: Implications for oblique continental collision'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this