The Triassic Songpan-Ganzi complex comprises >200,000 km2 of 5-15 km thick turbiditic sediments. Although surrounded by several magmatic and orogenic belts, the Triassic high- and ultrahigh-pressure Qinling-Tongbai-Hong'an-Dabie (QTHD) orogen, located several hundred kilometers to the east, was proposed as its major source. Middle to Late Triassic samples from the northern and southern Songpan-Ganzi complex, studied using detrital white mica 40Ar/39Ar ages, Si-in-white mica content, and detrital zircon U/Pb ages, suggest that the northern Songpan-Ganzi deposystem obtained detritus from the north: the north China block, east Kunlun, northern Qaidam, Qilian, and western Qinling; the southern Songpan-Ganzi deposystem was supplied from the northeasterly located Paleozoic QTHD area throughout the Ladinian and received detritus from the Triassic Hong'an-Dabie orogen during the Carnian, indicative of exhumation of the orogen at that time. The QTHD orogen fed the Norian samples in the southeastern southern Songpan-Ganzi deposystem, signifying long drainage channels along the western margin of the south China block. An additional supply from the Emeishan magmatic province and/or the Yidun arc is suggested by the paucity of white mica in the southern Songpan-Ganzi deposystem. Mica ages of Rhaetian sediments from the northwestern Sichuan basin best correlate with those of the Triassic QTHD orogen. Our Si-in-white mica data demonstrate that the high- and ultrahigh-pressure rocks of the Hong'an-Dabie Shan were not exposed in the Middle to Late Triassic. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.
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How was the Triassic Songpan-Ganzi basin filled? A provenance study