Chromian-spinel compositions from the Bo Xinh ultramafics, Northern Vietnam: Implications on tectonic evolution of the Indochina block

Ngo XuanThanh, Mai Trong Tu, Tetsumaru Itaya, Sanghoon Kwon

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31 Citations (Scopus)


The Bo Xinh ultramafics, north of the Song Ma fault zone are parts of the isolated bodies that have long been considered as remnants of Paleotethyan oceanic lithosphere between the Indochina and South China blocks. The core compositions of the early igneous stage Cr-spinels are used to deduce the petrogenesis and tectonic environments for the Bo Xinh ultramafics. These spinels are characterized by medium Cr2O3content (37.03-39.41wt.%), high contents of Al2O3 (29.08-32.01wt.%), FeO (15.08-17.80wt.%) and MgO (14.09-16.13wt.%), and very low TiO2 content (<0.12wt.%) with medium Cr# (0.44-0.47) and high Mg# (0.62-0.71). They also show low Fe3+# and high Fe2+/Fe3+ ratios of 0.018-0.040 and 5.52-11.24, respectively. The Cr-spinel compositions along with forsterite number (Fo88-92) suggest that the parental magma was lherzolite to harzburgite in composition, indicating the forearc tectonic environment for the Bo Xinh ultramafics. Thus, the supra-subduction zone nature of ophiolites in the Bo Xinh ultramafics, combined with available information on magmatism, metamorphism and sedimentary environment, suggest the presence of a southward subduction zone since Cambrian and subsequent collision of the Indochina and South China blocks in Late-Silurian to Early-Devonian. This further indicates that Permian to Triassic magmatic and metamorphic events, recorded widely within the Indochina block, should be linked to the northward subduction of the Paleo-oceanic plate beneath the Indochina block, following by Middle to Late-Triassic collision between the Sibumasu and Indochina blocks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-267
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug 10

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the valuable review comments from Dr. Eyuboglu and an anonymous reviewer. We are also thankful to Drs. M. Santosh and T.R.K. Chetty for the constructive review and editorial handling. This work was supported by Grant in-Aid NRF 2010-0011102 to S. Kwon. Ngo Xuan Thanh acknowledges the support from the second stage of Brain Korea (BK) 21 Project.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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