The Cretaceous tectonomagmatism of the Korean Peninsula was examined based on geochemical and geochronological data of the Cretaceous plutonic rocks, along with distribution of volcano-sedimentary nonmarine N- to NE-trending fault bounded sedimentary basins. We conducted sensitive high-resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) zircon U–Pb ages and whole-rock geochemical compositions of 21 Cretaceous plutonic rocks, together with previously published data, from the central to southern Korean Peninsula. Four age groups of plutonic rocks were identified: Group I (ca. 119–106 Ma) in the northern to central area, Group II (ca. 99–87 Ma) in the central southern area, Group III (ca. 85–82 Ma) in the central to southern area, and Group IV (ca. 76–67 Ma) in the southernmost area. These results indicate a sporadic trenchward-younging trend of the Cretaceous magmatism in the Korean Peninsula. The Group I, II, and III rocks are dominated by high-K calc-alkaline I-type rocks with rift-related A-type granitoids. In contrast, the Group IV rocks are high-K calc-alkaline I-type plutonic rocks with no A-type rocks. The geochemical signatures of the entire groups indicated LREEs (light rare earth elements) enrichments and negative Nb, Ta, and Ti anomalies, indicating normal arc magmatism. A new tectonic model of the Cretaceous Korean Peninsula was proposed based on temporal and spatial distribution of the Cretaceous plutons represented by four age groups; 1) magmatic quiescence throughout the Korean Peninsula from ca. 160 to 120 Ma, 2) intrusions of the I- and A-type granitoids in the northern and central Korean Peninsula (Group I plutonic rocks from ca. 120 to 100 Ma) resulted from the partial melting of the lower continental crust due to the rollback of the Izanagi plate expressed as the conversion from flat-lying subduction to normal subduction. The Gyeongsang nonmarine sedimentary rift basin in the Korean Peninsula and adakite magmatism preserved in the present-day Japanese Islands supported the slab rollback followed by steepening of the Izanagi plate with an injection of upwelling of the hot asthenosphere into the mantle wedge. 3) Alternating shallow (from ~100 to 85 Ma) to steep (from ~85 to 65 Ma) subduction resulted in the migration of the normal arc magmatism in the southern Korean Peninsula, expressed as the intruded I- and A-type (Group III) and I-type granitoids (Group IV), respectively. The tectonomagmatism of the Korean Peninsula showed the unique style of evolution, different from those of South China and Japanese Islands.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology