Forty-eight Paleogene, Neogene and Quaternary basaltic rocks from northeastern and east-central China have been analyzed for major-element composition, selected trace-element contents, and Pb, Sr and Nd isotopic systematics. The study area lies entirely within the marginal Pacific tectonic domain. Proceeding east to west from the continental margin to the interior, the basalts reveal an isotopic transition in mantle source material and/or degree of crustal interaction. In the east, many of the rocks are found to merge both chemically and isotopically with those previously reported from the Japanese and Taiwan island-arc terrains. In the west, clear evidence exists for component(s) of Late Archean continental lithosphere to be present in some samples. A major crustal structure, the Tan-Lu fault, marks the approximate boundary between continental margin and interior isotopic behaviors. Although the isotopic signature of the western basalts has characteristics of lower-crustal contamination, a subcrustal lithosphere, i.e. an attached mantle keel, is probably more likely to be the major contributor of their continental "flavor". The transition from continental margin to interior is very pronounced for Pb isotopes, although Sr and Nd isotopes also combine to yield correlated patterns that deviate strikingly from the mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) and oceanic-island trends. The most distinctive chemical attribute of this continental lithosphere component is its diminished U Pb as reflected in the Pb isotopic composition when compared to sources of MORB, oceanic-island and island-arc volcanic rocks. Somewhat diminished Sm Nd and elevated Rb Sr, especially in comparison to the depleted asthenospheric mantle, are also apparent from the Nd- and Sr-isotopic ratios. ?? 1986.