A-type granitoids, high-Mg basalts (e.g., picrites), adakitic rocks, basin-and-range-type fault basins, thinning of the North China Craton (NCC), and southwest-to-northeast migration of the adakites and I-type granitoids in southern Korea and southwestern Japan during the Cretaceous are attributed to the passive upwelling of deep asthenospheric mantle or ridge subduction. However, the genesis of these features remains controversial. Furthermore, the lack of ridge subduction during the Cretaceous in recently suggested plate reconstruction models poses a problem because the Cretaceous adakites in southern Korea and southwestern Japan could not have been generated by the subduction of the old Izanagi oceanic plate. Here, we speculate that plume-continent (intracontinental plume-China continent) and subsequent plume-slab (intracontinental plume-subducted Izanagi oceanic plate) interactions generated the various intracontinental magmatic and tectonic activities in eastern China, Korea, and southwestern Japan. We support our proposal using three-dimensional numerical models: 1) An intracontinental mantle plume is dragged into the mantle wedge by corner flow of the mantle wedge, and 2) the resultant channel-like flow of the mantle plume in the mantle wedge apparently migrated from southwest to northeast because of the northeast-to-southwest migration of the East Asian continental blocks with respect to the Izanagi oceanic plate. Our model calculations show that adakites and I-type granitoids can be generated by increased slab-surface temperatures because of the channel-like flow of the mantle plume in the mantle wedge. We also show that the southwest-to-northeast migration of the adakites and I-type granitoids in southern Korea and southwestern Japan can be attributable to the opposite migration of the East Asian continental blocks with respect to the Izanagi oceanic plate. This correlation implies that an intracontinental mantle plume existed in eastern China during the Cretaceous and that the mantle plume was entrained into the mantle wedge as a channel-like flow. An intracontinental mantle plume can explain the adakitic rocks, A-type granitoids, high-Mg basalts, and basin-and-range-type fault basins distributed in eastern China. Thus, the mantle plume and its interaction with the overlying continent and subducting slab through time plausibly explain the Cretaceous tectonic history of East Asia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science