Open Journal of Geology, 2012, 2, 229-240 Published Online October 2012 (
U-Pb Zircon Age, Geochemical and Sr-Nd Isotopic
Constraints on the Age and Origin of the Granodiorites in
Guilong, Southeastern Yunnan Province, Southern China
Shen Liu1, Ruizhong Hu1, Caixia Feng1, Shan Gao2, Guangying Feng1, Youqiang Qi1, Tao Wang3,
Ian M. Coulson4, Yuhong Yang1, Chaogui Yang1
1State Key Laboratory of Ore Deposit Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang, China
2State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China
3Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu, China
4Solid Earth Studies Laboratory, Department of Geology, University of Regina, Regina, Canada
Received July 9, 2012; revised August 6, 2012; accepted September 7, 2012
Post-collision felsic rocks in Southeastern Yunnan province contain granodiorites. U-Pb zircon ages, geochemical data
and Sr-Nd isotopic data for these rocks are reported in the present paper. Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma
mass spectrometry U-Pb zircon analyses yielded consistent age 252.5 ± 1.0 Ma for one sample of the felsic rocks. The
granodiorites were characterized by variational and high (87Sr/86Sr)i, ranging from 0.7223 to 0.7236 and very low εNd (t)
values from –29.1 to –30.4. In addition, these rocks are characterized by slight Eu negative anomalies, Nb, Ta, Ti and Sr
negative anomalies on primitive mantle normalization spider. Geochemical and isotopic characteristics suggest that
these rocks were derived from an enriched crust source. The granodiorites resulted from the fractionation of potassium
feldspar, plagioclase and ilmenite or rutile. However, the granodiorites were unaffected by visible crustal contamination
during ascent. As a result, the granodiorites may have been formed due to partial melting of crust-derived sedimentary
rocks beneath southeastern Yunnan province, southern China.
Keywords: Granodiorites; Age; Origin; Southeastern Yunnan Province; Southern China
1. Introduction
Felsic rocks (e.g., granite, granodiorite, etc.) are widely
distributed in Honghe polymetallic deposits (super-large
Sn, Cu, Pb, Zn, Sb, Ag, Mo, Au and Bi deposits) [1-6]
and Bainiuchang super-large Ag-Pb-Zn polymetallic de-
posits [7-14]. These rocks, especially granite and grano-
diorite, can be used to study the mineralization and met-
allogenesis of polymetallic deposits in southeastern Yun-
nan province, Southern China.
Although a number of studies about deposits have
been carried out, recent analytical techniques and sys-
tematic geochemical studies (e.g., ages, geochemical data
and isotopic data) on granites and granodiorites are li-
mited. Therefore, we provide systematic geochemical data
and LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb and Sr-Nd data for the
granodiorites to constrain age, source, fractionation and
genetic model of the studied felsic rocks.
2. Geological Setting and Petrography
Many types of Mesozoic-Cenozoic granites and acidic
porphyries are present in southeastern Yunnan province.
Each felsic rock may provide important insights into the
tectonothermal evolution of the Mesozoic-Cenozoic litho-
sphere of Yunnan province and the possible linkage(s)
between Yunnan and other places (i.e., terrene, craton,
etc.). Limited precise ages for the felsic rocks in Yunnan
province have been published in recent papers.
The study area is located within Guilong area, Luchun
County, Yunnan province, southeastern China (Figure 1).
Granodiorites in Guilong are emplaced into Trias sedi-
mentary rocks (T3g) (e.g., sandstone and shale) and gran-
ite without precise age. Some orthoclase and mafic
dykes (x, lamprophyres) are present in the southern mar-
gin of the granodiorites. The granodiorites are commonly
~0.9 km wide and ~1.7 km long. They are exposed for ca.
1.6 km2. The ages of these rocks remain unknown. Fig-
ure 2 shows the representative photomicrographs of the
granodiorites from Guilong. All granodiorites are por-
phyry with typical porphyritic texture and massive struc-
ture (Figure 2). The granodiorites mainly contain 40% to
45% plagioclase, 16% to 18% potash feldspar (K-feld-
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Figure 1. (a) Simplified tectonic map of the study area, Yunnan Province, China; (b) Map of China and distributions of the
Figure 2. Repressive photos of granodior ites in Guilong, Southeastern Yunnan Provinc e.
spar), 20% to 25% quartz, 5.0% to 8.0% biotite, 2.0%
to 5.0% hornblende and minor (<2.0%) accessory mi-
nerals, such as apatite, titanite, zircon, magnetite, alla-
nite, etc.
3. Analytical Procedures
3.1. U-Pb Dating by LA-ICP-MS Method
Zircon was separated from one sample (GL01) using
conventional heavy liquid and magnetic techniques at the
Langfang Regional Geological Survey, Hebei Province,
China. Zircon separates were examined under transmitted
and reflected light and by cathodoluminescence petrog-
raphy at the State Key Laboratory of Continental Dy-
namics, Northwest University, China, to observe their
external and internal structures.
Laser-ablation techniques were employed for zircon
age determinations (Table 1; Figure 3) using an Agilent
7500a ICP-MS instrument equipped with a 193 nm ex-
cimer laser at the State Key Laboratory of Geological
Processes and Mineral Resources, China University of
Geoscience, Wuhan, China. Zircon #91500 was used as
standard and NIST 610 was used to optimize the results. A
spot diameter of 24 μm was used. Prior to LA-ICP-MS
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S. LIU ET AL. 231
Table 1. LA-ICPMS U-Pb isotopic data for zircons in the felsic rocks in Guilong, Yunnan Provinc e , China.
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Figure 3. Selected zircon CL images and the LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb concordia diagram for the granodiorite (GL01) in
Guilong, Southeastern Yunnan Provinc e.
zircon U-Pb dating, the surfaces of the grain mounts
were washed in dilute HNO3 and pure alcohol to remove
any potential lead contamination. The analytical method-
ology has been described in detail by Yuan et al. (2004)
[15]. Correction for common Pb was performed follow-
ing Andersen (2002) [16]. Data were processed using the
GLITTER and ISOPLOT programs [17] (Table 1; Fig-
ure 3). Errors for individual analyses by LA-ICP-MS
were quoted at the 95% (1σ) confidence level.
3.2. Major Elemental, Trace Elemental and
Isotopic Analyses
Twenty-seven samples were collected to carry out major
and trace element determinations and Sr-Nd isotopic ana-
lyses. Whole-rock samples were trimmed to remove al-
tered surfaces, cleaned with deionized water and then
crushed and powdered using an agate mill.
Major elements were analyzed using PANalytical Ax-
ios-advance (Axios PW4400) X-Ray Fluorescence spec-
trometer (XRF) at the State Key Laboratory of Ore De-
posit Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese
Academy of Sciences. Fused glass disks were used.
Based on the Chinese National standards GSR-1 and
GSR-3 (Table 2), analytical precision was better than 5%.
Loss on Ignition (LOI) was obtained using 1 g of powder
heated to 1100˚C for 1 h.
Trace elements were analyzed by plasma optical emis-
sion MS ICP-MS at the National Research Center of
Geoanalysis, Chinese Academy of Geosciences follow-
ing the procedures described by Qi et al. (2000) [18].
The discrepancy among triplicates was less than 5% for
all elements. Analysis results of the international stan-
dards OU-6 and GBPG-1 were consistent with the re-
commended values (Table 3).
For the analyses of Rb-Sr and Sm-Nd isotopes, sample
powders were spiked with mixed isotope tracers, dis-
solved in Teflon capsules with HF + HNO3 acids and
separated by conventional cation-exchange techniques.
Isotopic measurements were performed using a Finnigan
Triton Ti thermal ionization mass spectrometer at the
State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mi-
neral Resources, China University of Geosciences, Wu-
han, China. Procedural blanks were <200 pg for Sm and
Nd and <500 pg for Rb and Sr. Mass fractionation cor-
rections for Sr and Nd isotopic ratios were based on
86Sr/88Sr = 0.1194 and 146Nd/144Nd = 0.7219, respectively.
Analyses of standards yielded the following results:
NBS987 gave 87Sr/86Sr = 0.710246 ± 16 (2σ) and La
Jolla gave 143Nd/144Nd = 0.511863 ± 8 (2σ). The analytic-
cal results for Sr-Nd isotopes are presented in Table 4.
4. Results
4.1. Zircon U-Pb Age
Euhedral zircon grains in samples GL01 are clean and
prismatic, with magmatic oscillatory zoning. A total of
18 grains have a weighted mean 206Pb/238U age of 252.5
± 1.0 Ma (1σ) (95% confidence interval) for GL01 (Ta-
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S. LIU ET AL. 233
ble 1; Figure 3). These determinations are the best esti-
mates of the crystallization ages of the granodiorites.
Some inherited zircons (1421 and 8 80 Ma; Table 1 ) are
present in the rock.
4.2. Major and Trace Elements
Geochemical data on the granodiorites in the study area
are listed in Tables 2 and 3.
The granodiorites have a relatively wide range of
chemical compositions, with SiO2 = 65.73 wt% to 69.94
wt%, Al2O3 = 13.04 wt% to 14.11wt%, MgO = 1.41 wt%
to 1.90 wt% (Mg# = 40 to 46), Fe2O3 = 4.67 wt% to 5.59
wt%, CaO = 0.72 wt% to 2.72 wt%, K2O = 3.71 wt% to
4.98 wt% and Na2O = 2.45 wt% to 4.03 wt%. They have
consistent TiO2 = 0.67 wt% to 0.81 wt%, MnO = 0.06
wt% to 0.08 wt% and P2O5 = 0.14 wt% to 0.16 wt%.
Table 2. Major oxides (w t%) for the felsic rocks in Guilong, Yunnan Province, China.
Sample Rock type SiO2TiO2 Al2O3 Fe2O3MnO CaO MgOK2ONa
2O5 LOI Total Mg#TZr (˚C)
GL-1 granodiorite 66.91 0.71 13.04 4.750.082.721.594.442.570.15 2.36 99.32 42 840
GL-2 granodiorite 67.470.77 14.06 1.76 100.11 42 844
GL-3 granodiorite 68.940.71 13.34 4.670.071.001.514.483.500.15 1.81 100.17 42 846
GL-4 granodiorite 66.82 0.67 13.57 4.700.071.811.564.182.840.14 2.75 99.11 42 857
GL-5 granodiorite 66.85 0.74 13.63 2.37 99.22 43 842
GL-6 granodiorite 67.29 0.74 13.72 2.38 99.25 42 873
GL-7 granodiorite 67.82 0.81 14.07 4.960.070.991.684.812.650.16 1.86 99.87 43 886
GL-8 granodiorite 67.53 0.75 13.56 4.960.061.041.414.792.570.16 2.36 99.18 38 853
GL-9 granodiorite 68.00 0.76 13.78 2.14 99.87 43 867
GL-10 granodiorite 68.960.74 13.79 1.35 100.20 42 838
GL-11 granodiorite 65.73 0.77 14.03 5.590.080.731.904.812.580.16 2.76 99.13 43 875
GL-12 granodiorite 69.110.75 13.95 1.42 100.13 40 839
GL-13 granodiorite 68.72 0.69 13.46 4.650.071.451.564.722.590.14 1.85 99.91 42 825
GL-14 granodiorite 68.130.75 13.79 4.880.070.931.674.872.520.16 2.33 100.10 43 846
GL-15 granodiorite 67.94 0.75 13.63 4.860.081.751.584.372.830.15 1.98 99.92 42 825
GL-16 granodiorite 68.46 0.72 13.35 5.350.080.971.653.713.480.15 1.99 99.91 40 840
GL-17 granodiorite 67.54 0.74 13.64 2.31 99.58 41 845
GL-18 granodiorite 66.21 0.72 13.63 2.63 99.18 42 839
GL-19 granodiorite 68.040.76 13.94 5.2 0.07 1.19 1.62 4.90 2.45 0.16 1.75 100.07 41 851
GL-20 granodiorite 69.130.74 13.61 1.45 100.22 42 835
GL-21 granodiorite 66.88 0.73 13.86 4.780.060.931.554.972.990.16 2.37 99.28 42 845
GL-22 granodiorite 67.750.75 13.68 2.24 100.01 42 841
GL-23 granodiorite 69.940.77 13.79 0.56 100.43 41 852
GL-24 granodiorite 67.65 0.72 13.84 4.840.060.901.584.962.580.15 2.12 99.39 43 839
GL-25 granodiorite 69.110.72 13.94 4.710.071.161.524.882.690.15 1.21 100.16 46 847
GL-26 granodiorite 69.130.75 14.11 0.38 100.13 45 848
GL-27 granodiorite 68.920.75 13.92 5.540.101.161.564.712.740.16 0.57 100.13 41 857
GSR-3 RV* 44.642.37 13.83 2.24 99.88 - -
GSR-3 MV* 44.752.36 14.14 13.350.168.827.742.3 3.180.97 2.12 99.89 - -
GSR-1 RV* 72.830.29 13.4 0.7 99.62 - -
GSR-1 MV* 72.650.29 13.52 0.69 99.70 - -
Note: LOI, loss on ignition. Mg# = 100 × Mg/(Mg + Fe) atomic ratio. “-”, not caculated. TZr (˚C) is calculated from zircon saturation thermometry [33]. RV,
recommended values; MV, measured values. The values for GSR-1 and GSR-3 are from Wang et al. (2003) [38].
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. OJG
Table 3. Trace elements (ppm) in the felsic rocks in Guilong, Yunnan Province, China.
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The granodiorites are relatively high in total alkalis, with
K2O + Na2O ranging from 7.02 wt% to 8.15 wt%. All
granodiorites in the calc-alkaline field are plotted on the
Total Alkali-Silica (TAS) diagram (Figure 4(a)). All sam-
ples also straddle the shoshonitic series in the Na2O vs
K2O plot (Figure 4(b)). In the plot of the molar ratios of
Al2O3/(Na2O + K2O) and Al2O3/(CaO + Na2O + K2O),
the rocks are mostly peraluminous, except for one sample
falling the metaluminous field (Figure 4(c)). The grano-
diorites display almost unchanged TiO2, Al2O3, Fe2O3,
MgO, CaO, Na2O + K2O, MnO, P2O5, Rb, Cr and Ni,
relatively decreasing Zr and increasing SiO2. They have
no correlations among Sr, Ba and SiO2 (Figures 5 and 6).
All granodiorites are characterized by Light Rare Earth
Element (LREE) enrichment and Heavy Rare Earth Ele-
ment (HREE) depletion, with a wide range of (La/Yb)N
values (7.29 to 11.62) and slight negative Eu anomalies
(Eu/Eu* = 0.42 to 0.57) (Table 3 and Figure 7(a)). In the
primitive mantle-normalized trace element diagrams, the
granodiorites show enrichment in Large Ion Lithophile
Elements (LIL E) (i.e. , Rb, Pb and U) and depletion in Ba,
Sr and High Field Strength Elements (HFSE) (i.e., Nb, Ta,
P and Ti) (Figure 7(b)).
4.3. Sr-Nd and Pb Isotopes
Sr-Nd isotopic data have been obtained from representa-
tive granodiorite samples (Table 4). The felsic rocks
show uniform (87Sr/86Sr)i values, ranging from 0.7231 to
0.7237 and relatively little variation in initial. εNd (t) va-
lues from –29.1 to –30.4, suggesting an enriched source
region. The Sr-Nd isotopic compositions (Figure 8) are
also comparable with the upper crust.
5. Discussion
5.1. Mantle Contribution Figure 4. Classification of the granodiorites in Southeastern
Yunnan province based on three diagrams. (a) TAS dia-
gram. All major elemental data have been recalculated to
100% on a LOI-free basis [34-35]. (b) K2O vs Na2O dia-
gram. The granodiorites are shown to be shoshonitic [36 ]. (c)
Al2O3/(Na2O + K2O) molar vs Al2O3/(CaO + Na2O + K2O)
molar plot. Most samples fall in the peraluminous field.
However, one sample straddles the metaluminous field.
Currently, the interaction between crust and mantle is
very important for the genetic investigation of granitoid
rocks. Previous studies suggest that mantle contribution
(e.g., material and energy) during granitoid rock forma-
tion cannot be ignored [19-21].
The REE of the granodiorites [REE = 181˚ ppm to
242˚ ppm, (La/Yb) N = 7.29 to 11.62,
Eu = 0.42 to 0.57]
has some visible differences with that of granitoid rocks
formed by re-melting of the continental crust with high
maturity, such as Suidong intrusion in Southern China
[REE = 169˚ ppm to 268˚ ppm, (La/Yb)N = 6.44 to
Eu = 0.14 to 0.31 [22]. However, the REE can be
comparable with that of syntactic-type granitic rocks
involving obvious mantle material in their petrogenesis
in southern China, e.g., Wuping intrusion [REE = 103˚
ppm to 395˚ ppm, (La/Yb) N = 5.3 to 38.7,
Eu = 0.34 to
0.56] [23] and Longwo intrusion [REE = 103˚ ppm to
196˚ ppm, (La/Yb) N = 4.5 to 35.7,
Eu = 0.41 to 0.62]
The granodiorites in the present study have relatively
higher compatible element contents (V = 58.6˚ ppm to
73.1˚ ppm, Cr = 29.9˚ ppm to 41.0˚ ppm, Ni = 14.8˚ ppm to
18.7˚ ppm) than some granitic rocks formed by the inter-
action of crust and mantle in the Yangtze River and south-
ern China (Wuping biotite monzogranite [23]; granodio-
rites in Longwo [24,25]). In addition, the high Mg# (43 -
46; Table 2) of the rocks agrees with interaction of crust
and mantle. Simutaneously, the Sr-Nd isotopic signatures
Figure 5. Selected variation diagrams of major elemental oxides vs SiO2 plots for the felsic rocks in Southeastern Yunnan
of the granodiorites are comparable with those in the
associated mafic dykes (lamprophyres) in the study area
(Figure 1).
In summary, this evidence indicates that evident man-
tle materials contributed to the diagenesis of Guilong
granodiorites in Yunnan Province.
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S. LIU ET AL. 237
Figure 6. Selected variation diagrams of trace elements vs SiO2 plots for the felsic rocks in Southeastern Yunnan Province.
Figure 7. (a) Chondrite-normalized REE diagrams; (b) Primitive mantle-normalized trace element spidergrams for the
granodiorites in Southeastern Yunnan Province. The normalization values are from Sun and McDonough (1989) [37].
5.2. Crustal Contamination
Assimilation, crystal fractionation (AFC), or magma
mixing is usually postulated to explain the occurrence of
comagmatic felsic rocks [26-29]. AFC and magma mix-
ing result in a positive correlation between SiO2 and
(t) values and a negative correlation between SiO2 and
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. OJG
Figure 8. Initial 87Sr/86Sr vs
Nd (t) diagram for the felsic
rocks in Southeastern Yunnan P rovince.
(87Sr/86Sr)i ratios (Figure 9). However, these features are
not observed in the studied granodiorites, indicating that
magma evolution is insignificantly affected by crustal
contamination or magma mixing. Therefore, the geoche-
mical and Sr-Nd isotopic signatures of the granodiorites
are mainly inherited from an enriched source.
5.3. Origin of the Rocks and Fractional
The granodiorites have relatively low Al2O3/TiO2 (17.4
to 20.3), suggesting that the temperature of partial melt-
ing is high (>875˚C [30]). Moreover, felsic rocks have
low Sr (113˚ ppm to 201˚ ppm) and high Yb (3.25˚ ppm
to 4.15˚ ppm), with the lower Sr and higher Yb feature.
In addition, the granodiorites are provided with low
(La/Yb) N (7.29 to 11.62) and negative slight Eu negative
Eu = 0.42 to 0.57) (Table 3). Hence, the rocks resulted
from relatively low pressure (<1.2˚ Gpa) and a shallow
source [31].
For the studied felsic samples, the negative Nb, Ta and
Ti anomalies in all rocks (Figure 7(b)) agree with the
fractionation of such Fe-Ti oxides as rutile and ilmenite.
The relatively negative Ba, Sr and Eu anomalies of the
rocks (Figures 7(a) and (b)) imply the fractionation of
potassium feldspar and plagioclase.
Besides above, the granodiorites have characterized
Sr-Nd isotopic compositions ((87Sr/86Sr)i = 0.7231 -
0.7237, εNd (t) = –29.1 - –30.4). The geochemistry feature
all indicate that the granodiorites were derived from par-
tial melting of crust-derived sedimentary rocks. More-
over, interaction of crust and mantle occurred during
origin of the granodiorites.
The granodiorites show relatively decreasing Zr with
increasing SiO2 (Figure 6(c)). This result indicates that
zircon was saturated in the magma, which was also con-
trolled by fractional crystallization [32]. Zircon satura-
tion thermometry [33] provides a simple and robust
Figure 9. Plots of (a) initial 87Sr/86Sr ratio and (b)
Nd (t)
value vs SiO2 for the felsic rocks in Southeastern Yunnan
province, indicating crystal fractionation. FC, fractional
crystallization; AFC, assimilation and fractional crystalli-
means of estimating magma temperatures from bulk-rock
compositions. The calculated zircon saturation tempera-
tures (TZr) of felsic rocks are 825˚C to 886˚C (Table 2),
representing the crystallization temperature of the magma.
6. Conclusions
Based on geochronological, geochemical and Sr-Nd iso-
topic studies, the following conclusions are drawn:
1) Granodiorites were formed at 252.5 ± 1.0 based on
LA-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon dating. The rocks resulted from
post-collision magmatism.
2) Felsic rocks came from a crustal source. The frac-
tionation of K-feldspar, plagioclase, ilmenite, or rutile,
among others, resulted in granodiorites with negligible
crustal contamination. The zircon saturation temperatures
(TZr) of the granodiorites range from 825˚C to 875˚C,
approximately representing the crystallization tempera-
ture of the magma.
7. Acknowledgements
The present research was supported by the Knowledge
Innovation Project (KZCX2-YW-111-03) and the Na-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. OJG
S. LIU ET AL. 239
tional Nature Science Foundation of China (40773020,
40972071, 90714010 and 40634020). The authors grate-
fully acknowledge Lian Zhou for helping analyze the
Sr-Nd isotopes and Yongsheng Liu and Zhaochu Hu for
their help with the LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb dating.
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