- Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010
Zircon U–Pb dating, whole-rock major oxide, trace element and Sr–Nd isotopic data are presented for the Late Mesozoic mafic intrusive rocks from Yiwulüshan of western Liaoning along the eastern segment of the Yanshan belt, North China craton, with two episodes of magmatism documented. Middle Jurassic hornblende-rich gabbros show enrichment of large ion lithophile elements and light REE, and prominent depletion in high field strength elements, and possess moderately enriched isotopic compositions with (87Sr/86Sr)i ranging from 0.7056 to 0.7065 and ɛNd(t) from −5.0 to −7.1. These features suggest that the gabbros were derived from an amphibole-bearing harzburgitic lithospheric mantle source metasomatized recently by slab-derived fluids. By contrast, Early Cretaceous mafic dykes are gabbroic dioritic to dioritic in composition, with comparable trace element characteristics to continental crust and depleted isotopic signatures ((87Sr/86Sr)i = 0.7048–0.7055, ɛNd(t) = 0 to −3.0). They probably originated from partial melting of a relatively fertile asthenospheric mantle in the spinel stability field, with subsequent lower crustal assimilation and fractional crystallization. These two contrasting mafic intrusive suites, together with multiple Mesozoic mafic volcanic rocks from western Liaoning, documented a localized lithospheric thinning process, mainly through prolonged hydro-weakening or melt–rock interaction and triggered by gravitational collapse, possibly within an evolved post-collisional to within-plate extensional regime.