SHRIMP U-Pb dating for a K-bentonite bed in the Tieling Formation, North China

Wen Bo Su, Huai Kun Li, W. D. Huff, F. R. Ettensohn, Shi Hong Zhang, Hong Ying Zhou, Yu Sheng Wan

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175 Scopus citations


A SHRIMP U-Pb zircon age of 1437±21 Ma was obtained for a recently discovered K-bentonite bed in the Tieling Formation, situated northeast of Beijing at the boundary between Liaoning and Hebei provinces, on the northern margin of the North China Craton (NCC). The SHRIMP U-Pb age places Tieling Formation near the end of the Calymmian Period of the early Mesoproterozoic Era. In addition, a SHRIMP U-Pb zircon date of 1372±18 Ma was acquired for K-bentonite beds in the overlying, dark-shale-dominated Xiamaling Formation from the same location northeast of Beijing. This date assigns a similar Mid-Mesoproterozoic (Ectasian Period) age for the Xiamaling Formation, as have previously determined dates from other sections northwest of Beijing. These dates indicate that the Tieling and Xiamaling formations, as well as the related succession in the eastern part of the Yanshan Mountains, represented by the well-known Meso- to Neoproterozoic standard section in Jixian, can be correlated well with sections northwest of Beijing in the western part of the Yanshan Mountains. In other words, the boundary between the Calymmian and Ectasian periods in the northern parts of the NCC is marked by the unconformity between the Tieling and Xiamaling formations in the northern NCC. This boundary was previously ascribed to the "Qinyu Orogeny" and thought to be of Grenville age. In this regard, the conventional "Qinyu Orogeny" should now be regarded as a short-lived regional uplift during Early Mesoproterozoic time, rather than a result from the Grenvillian assembly of the NCC to the Rodinia Supercontinent (~1.0 Ga).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3312-3323
Number of pages12
JournalChinese Science Bulletin
Issue number29
StatePublished - Oct 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This manuscript has benefited from several fruitful discussions with Prof. Wang Hongzhen (CUGB). Prof. Lu Songnian (TIGMR, CGS) read an early draft of the paper and made valuable suggestions. Constructive criticism and comments from several anonymous reviewers improved this paper greatly. During the testing and analysis process, we have been continuously supported by the Laboratory of the Institute of Regional Geology and Mineral Resources Survey of Hebei Province (Langfang), the Institute of Geophysical and Geochemical Exploration of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (Langfang), the Test Center of the China Petroleum Exploration and Research Institute, the Isotope Laboratory of the Tianjin Institute of Geology and Mineral Resources of China Geological Survey (CGS), and the Beijing SHRIMP Center. Graduate students of the CUGB, including Wang Wei, Ma Chao, Li Lu, Zhao Huijing, and Qin Song, were periodically involved both in the field and in the lab. The authors would like to express their sincerest thanks to them. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (40372057 and 40772076), the SINOPEC Project (G0800-06-ZS-319), and the China Geological Survey (CGS) project (1212010611802).


  • Calymmian Period
  • K-bentonite
  • Mesoproterozoic
  • North China Craton
  • Tieling Formation
  • zircon U-Pb age

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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