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Geochemical characteristics and geological significance of the Neoproterozoic carbonates from northern Anhui Province, China

SUN Linhua1, GUI Herong1, CHEN Song1, MA Yanping1, and HE Zhenyu2 1 Department of Geographical and Environmental Sciences, Suzhou University, Suzhou 234000, China 2 State Key Laboratory of Mineral Deposit Research, Department of Earth Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China  
Petrographical and geochemical studies were carried out of the Neoproterozoic carbonates from northern Anhui Province, China. These carbonates can be subdivided into two types, including purified limestone (PL) and mixed limestone and siliclastic rocks (MLS). PLs are low in Si, Al, Zr and total REE but high in CaO compared with MLSs. Correlations between Zr, Fe2O3, P2O5 and total REE are also less remarkable, indicating that they were not obviously contaminated by continental materials but directly precipitated from seawater. So they can be used for the inversion of paleo-seawater REE patterns. The inversed results indicated that the REE pattern of Neoproterozoic seawater was similar to that of the modern seawater except for the lack of Ce depletion, which was probably affected by the reduced hydrothermal solution. In combination with previous studies, the geochemical trending of these carbonatic samples towards the continental arc in the La- Th-Sc and Th-Sc-Zr/10 diagrams is interpreted as the contamination of arc volcanism. The tectonic background of the southern margin of the North China Craton in the Neoproterozoic was probably related to the Grenville orogeny during the convergence of the Rodinia supercontinent, rather than an intra-plate environment.
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