SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences, Volume 60 , Issue 5 : 958-971(2017) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11430-016-9025-9

Petrogenetic simulation of the Archean trondhjemite from Eastern Hebei, China

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  • ReceivedOct 11, 2016
  • AcceptedFeb 23, 2017
  • PublishedMar 23, 2017


It is generally believed that trondhjemitic rock, an important component of TTG rocks, is the anatectic product of mafic rocks. However, in many TTG gneiss terranes, for instance, the granulite facies terrane in Eastern Hebei, trondhjemites occur as small dikes, intrusions or leucosomes in tonalitic gneisses, suggesting their origin of in-situ partial melting. Based on the petrological analysis of a tonalitic gneiss sample from Eastern Hebei, in combination with zircon U-Pb dating, we investigated the petrogenesis of trondhjemite through simulating anatectic reactions and the major and trace element characteristics of the product melt at different pressures (0.7, 1.0 and 2.0 GPa). The results indicate that hornblende dehydration melting in a tonalitic gneiss at 0.9–1.1 GPa and 800–850°C, corresponding to the high-T granulite facies, with melting degrees of 5–10wt.% and a residual assemblage containing 5–10wt.% garnet, can produce felsic melts with a great similarity, for instance of high La/Yb ratios and low Yb contents to the trondhjemitic rocks from Eastern Hebei. However, the modelled melts exhibit relatively higher K2O, and lower CaO and Mg# than those in the trondhjemitic dikes and leucosomes from Eastern Hebei, suggesting that the leucosomes may not only contain some residual minerals but also be subjected to the effect of crystal fractionation. The zircon U-Pb dating for the tonalitic and trondhjemitic rocks in the Eastern Hebei yields a protolith age of 2518±12 Ma and a metamorphic age of 2505±19 Ma for the tonalitic gneiss. The latter age is consistent with a crystallization age of 2506±6 Ma for the trondhjemitic rock, confirming a close petrogenetic relation between them.


We would like to thank Qin Hong for her help in the major element analyses at the Geological Lab Center, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Liu Mu for her assistance in the trace element analyses at the Geological Institute of Nuclear Industry, and Ma Fang for her assistance in zircon U-Pb analyses at the Key Laboratory of Orogenic Belts and Crustal Evolution, Peking University. Associated professor Tian Wei, Zhang Jinrui, Mr. Li Xianwei, Li Zhuang and Yang Chuan are thanked for their academic discussions in the preparation of this paper. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41430207).


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  • Figure 1

    Geological sketch map of the Eastern Hebei ((a) modified after Zhao et al., 2001).

  • Figure 2

    Field and petrographic characteristics of the Neoarchean trondhjemitic rocks in the Eastern Hebei. (a) Anatectic structure of tonalitic rocks (JD1346) from Saheqiao area where trondhjemitic leucosomes show irregular shapes; (b) a trondhjemitic dyke (JD1343) that intrudes the host tonalitic gneiss in Saheqiao area; (c) photomicrograph of a tonalitic gneiss; (d) photomicrograph of a coarse-grained biotite-bearing trondhjemite. bi: biotite; opx: orthopyroxene; pl: plagioclalse; q: quartz.

  • Figure 3

    An-Ab-Or diagram of trondhjemitic rocks from Eastern Hebei (after Barker, 1979). For comparison, the figure includes the tonalitic and granodioritic rocks in the Eastern Hebei. Sample J13 is used for phase modelling (see the text).

  • Figure 4

    REE patterns of trondhjemites in the Eastern Hebei. Chondrite normalized values from Sun and McDonough, 1989. The trondhjemite data are from Bai et al. (2014, 2016) and Jahn and Zhang. (1984). The tonalite data are from Jahn and Zhang (1984), Yang et al. (2008), Nutman et al. (2011) and our unpublished data.

  • Figure 5

    Calculated P-T pseudosection for sample J13 in the system NCKFMASHTO (+q). H2O is present in all the subsolidus assemblages. The freedom variant in the colorless fields is 3, and there are 9 phases. The variant increases and the number of phase decreases in the fields that are increasingly shaded. The field with maximum variant of 7 contains 5 phase. (-q) denotes quartz-absent. F=5–40wt.% refers to the mass proportion of melt. The division between diopside and omphacite is according to J(di)=Na/(Na+Ca)=0.3. Mineral abbreviations are from Holland et al. (1998). The others are the same as in Figure 2.

  • Figure 6

    The variation of mineral assemblages and melt content during heating processes under pressure conditions of 0.7, 1.0 and 2.0 GPa for a tonalitic gneiss sample J13 from Eastern Hebei. a0→a6, b0→b5 and c0→c3 correspond to the P-T points selected in Figure 5, respectively.

  • Figure 7

    Harker diagrams showing the changes of simulated melt compositions during three melting processes and various melting reactions. The shaded area represents the composition range of trondhjemites in the Eastern Hebei (Bai et al., 2014, 2016; Jahn and Zhang, 1984).

  • Figure 8

    An-Ab-Or diagram showing simulated melt compositions in three melting processes (after Barker, 1979). Tron: trondhjemite; Ton: tonalite; Grd: granodiorite; Mog: monzonitic granite. The shaded area represents the composition range of trondhjemites in the Eastern Hebei (Bai et al., 2014, 2016; Jahn and Zhang, 1984).

  • Figure 9

    REE characteristics of simulated melts during three melting processes for a tonalitic gneiss (sample J13) in the Eastern Hebei (distribution coefficients from Rollinson, 1993).

  • Figure 10

    La/Yb-Yb diagram of the melts simulated in three melting processes for a tonalitic gneiss (sample J13) in the Eastern Hebei. The circled areas show the composition ranges of high-pressure type (black solid curve), medium-pressure type (grey solid curve), and low-pressure type (dotted curve) TTG rocks from Moyen (2011). J13 is the tonalitic gneiss in the Eastern Hebei for the simulation. Diamond symbols refer to the plots of trondhjemites in the Eastern Hebei (Bai et al., 2014, 2016; Jahn and Zhang, 1984).

  • Figure 11

    Cathodoluminescence (CL) images and U-Pb isotopic age data of zircons from samples JD1346 ((a), (b)) and JD1343 ((c), (d)) in the Eastern Hebei.

  • Table 1   Chemical compositions of the selected samples used for phase modelling and zircon dating(wt.%)













































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