Oceanic lithospheric mantle beneath the continental crust of the Chinese Altai

posted on 21.06.2016 by Chao Yuan, Min Sun, Yigang Xu, Guochun Zhao, Wenjiao Xiao, Xiaoping Long, Jiyuan Yin

Although subduction–accretion is proposed as a major regime in making new continental crust, how the lithospheric mantle forms remains unclear. Formed after the closure of the Palaeo-Asian Ocean, the Ashele basalt shows normal mid-ocean ridge basalt (N-MORB)-like characteristics with light REE-depleted patterns and extremely low contents of high field strength elements. The low Zr/Y and Nb/Y ratios of the basalt are significantly different from those of asthenosphere-derived melts, and the excess Eu and Sr suggest that the basalt was probably derived from accreted oceanic lithospheric mantle. The presence of the N-MORB-like terrestrial basalt implies that subduction–accretion is an effective mechanism in building the refractory lithospheric mantle of Phanerozoic continents.