The characteristics of granites in the Gaofeng and Baocheng areas, Hainan Province, China: response to subduction of the Tethyan South China Sea

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Yuan Xiaobo
Fang Nianqiao
Zhang Zhenguo
Dong Hailong


During the early Mesozoic Era there was intense magmatic activity near Hainan Island, South China. As a result, the granites of Hainan Island provide information on, and are suitable material to potentially improve understanding of the Cretaceous tectonic environment of the northern margin of the South China Sea. The Gaofeng and Baocheng intrusions are composed mainly of medium- to fine-grained biotite adamellite (Baocheng) and granodiorite (Gaofeng). The two intrusions yielded U–Pb LA-ICP-MS zircon ages of 107.7 ± 6.1 Ma (Gaofeng) and 105.8 ± 2.4 Ma (Baocheng). Regarding the major elements, the Gaofeng and Baocheng intrusions had medium Si and alkali contents and high Ca, Mg, and Al contents, with an aluminum saturation index of 0.95–1.03 and 1.05–1.30. The trace element and rare earth element (REE) characteristics showed that the two intrusions have intense heavy REE/light REE (HREE/LREE) fractionation, LREE enrichment, HREE depletion, and weak negative Eu anomalies. The intrusions were enriched in high field-strength elements and depleted in large ion lithophile elements. These geochemical characteristics indicate that the Hainan Province was in a tectonic subduction environment in the late Yanshanian period. Multiple geochemical characteristics demonstrate that the granites in the Hainan Province were formed by a different mechanism and in a different setting from those in Fujian and Zhejiang. The late Mesozoic granites of Fujian and Zhejiang were formed by the Western Pacific subduction. However, Hainan Island was under an arc environment formed by the northward subduction of the Tethyan-South China Sea during the Cretaceous leading to emplacement of the Gaofeng and Baocheng intrusions.


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