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Name: Chao YUAN (袁超)
Position: Research Professor
Department: State Key Laboratory of Isotope Geochemistry
Email: yuanchao@gi.ac.cn

Research

My research interest is about tectonic evolution of orogenic belts. Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks commonly formed in response to tectonic events during formation of orogenic belts, and thus kept valuable information about the nature of magmatic sources and tectonothermal history. By decoding the records in these rocks, people are able to understand the geological processes and reconstruct the tectonic evolutionary history of orogenic belts. In doing so, petrology, geochemistry and geochronology are very useful tools, as they can provide important constraints on petrogenesis of rocks and spatial and temporal distribution of rocks, all of which are essential clues in understanding continental growth and exploration for mineral resources.

My current projects mainly focus on the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB), which covers a huge area between Siberian and Tarim-north China Cratons and represents the most important continental growth event in the Phanerozoic. Chinese Altay and western Junggar are typical areas of the CAOB, characterized by intense magmatism and formed by accretion of juvenile blocks, such as island arcs, backarc basins, seamounts and ophiolites. Because of their “juvenescence”, these areas are the best places in understanding the continental growth and ore-forming processes during accretionary orogenesis. Orogenesis is a long-lasting and complicated geological process, magmatism and related endogenic mineralization, among others, are the main aspects that I am working on. 
 

Research:

Recent Publications:
1. Yuan C., Sun M., Xu Y.G., Zhao G.C., Xiao W.J., Long X.P., Yin J.Y., 2011. Oceanic lithospheric mantle beneath the continental crust of the Chinese Altai. Journal of the Geological Society 168: 995-1000. doi: 10.1144/0016-76492010-058.
2. Long X.P., Sun M., Yuan C., Kröner A., Hu A.Q., 2011. Zircon REE patterns and geochemical characteristics of Paleoproterozoic anatectic granite in the northern Tarim Craton, NW China: implications for the reconstruction of the Columbia supercontinent. Precambrian Research (accepted.)
3. Long X.P., Yuan C., Sun M., Kröner A., Zhao G.C., Wilde S., Hu A.Q., 2011. Reworking of the Tarim Craton by underplating of mantle plume-derived magmas: evidence from Neoproterozoic granitoids in the Kuluketage area, NW China. Precambrian Research 187, 1–14.
4. Long X.P., Yuan C., Sun M., Xiao W.J., Wang Y.J., Cai K.D., Jiang, Y.D. 2011. Major and trace elements and Sm–Nd isotopes of the early Paleozoic flysch sequence in the Chinese Altai, Central Asian: Evidence for a hidden mafic source and insight into Nd model ages in accretionary orogen. Gondwana Research, doi:10.1016/j.gr.2011.04.009.
5. Long X.P., Yuan C., Sun M., Safonova I., Xiao W.J., Wang Y.J. 2011. Geochemistry and U–Pb detrital zircon dating of Paleozoic graywackes in East Junggar, NW China: Insights into subduction-accretion processes in the southern Central Asian Orogenic Belt. Gondwana Research, doi:10.1016/ j.gr.2011.05.015.
6. Jiang, Y.D., Sun, M., Zhao, G.C., Yuan, C., Xiao, W.J., Xia, X.P., Long, X.P., Wu, F.Y., 2011. The ~390 Ma high-T metamorphic event in the Chinese Altai: A consequence of ridge-subduction? American Journal of Science 310, 1421-1452.
7. Jiang Y.D., Sun M., Zhao G.C., Yuan C., Xiao W.J., Xia X.P., Long X.P., Wu F.Y., 2011. Precambrian detrital zircons in the Early Paleozoic Chinese Altai: their provenance and implications for the crustal growth of central Asia. Precambrian Research, 189, 140-154.
8. Cai K.D., Sun M., Yuan C., Zhao G.C., Xiao W.J., Long X.P., Wu F.Y., 2011. Prolonged magmatism, juvenile nature and tectonic evolution of the Chinese Altai, NW China: Evidence from zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopic study of Paleozoic granitoids. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 42, 949-968.
9. Cai, K.D., Sun, M., Yuan, C., Long, X.P., Xiao, W.J., 2011. Geological framework and Paleozoic tectonic history of the Chinese Altai, NW China: a review. Russian Geology and Geophysics, accepted.
10. Cai, K.D., Sun, M., Yuan, C., Zhao, G.C., Xiao, W.J., Long, X.P., 2011. Geochronology, petrogenesis and tectonic significance of peraluminous granites from the Chinese Altai, NW China. Lithos, in press. doi:10.1016/ j.lithos.2011.09.001
11. Geng H., Sun M., Yuan C., Zhao G.C., Xiao W.J., 2011. Geochemical and geochronological study of early Carboniferous volcanic rocks from the West Junggar: Petrogenesis and tectonic implications. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 42: 854-866
12. Wang Yujing, Yuan Chao, Long Xiaoping, Sun Min, Xiao Wenjiao, Zhao Guochun, Cai Keda, Jiang Yingde, 2011. Geochemistry, zircon U–Pb ages and Hf isotopes of the Paleozoic volcanic rocks in the northwestern Chinese Altai: Petrogenesis and tectonic implications. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 42: 969-985
13. Zhang, JE; Xiao, WJ; Han, CM; Ao, SJ; Yuan, C ; Sun, M; Geng, HY; Zhao, GC; Guo, QQ; Ma, C., 2011. Kinematics and age constraints of deformation in a Late Carboniferous accretionary complex in Western Junggar, NW China. Gondwana Research 19: 958-974
14. Yuan Chao, Mei-Fu Zhou, Min Sun, Yongjiu Zhao, Simon Wilde, Xiaoping Long, Danping Yan., 2010. Triassic granitoids in the eastern Songpan Ganzi Fold Belt, SW China: Magmatic response to geodynamics of the deep lithosphere. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 290: 481–492.
15. Yuan Chao, Sun Min, Wilde Simon, Xiao Wenjiao, Xu Yigang, Long Xiaoping, Zhao Guochun, 2010. Post-collisional plutons in the Balikun area, East Chinese Tianshan: Evolving magmatism in response to extension and slab break-off. Lithos 119: 269–288.
16. Yin J.Y., Yuan C., Sun M., Long X.P., Zhao G.C., Wong K.P., Geng H.Y., Cai K.D., 2010. Late Carboniferous high-Mg dioritic dikes in Western Junggar, NW China: Geochemical features, petrogenesis and tectonic implications. Gondwana Research 17: 145-152.
17. Long Xiaoping, Yuan Chao, Sun Min, Zhao Guochun, Xiao Wenjiao, Wang Yujing, Yang Yueheng, Hu Aiqin, 2010. Archean crustal evolution of the northern Tarim craton, NW China: Zircon U–Pb and Hf isotopic constraints. Precambrian Research 180: 272-284.
18. Long X.P., Yuan C., Sun M., Xiao W.J., Zhao G.C., Wang Y.J., Cai K.D., Xia X.P., Xie L.W., 2010. Detrital zircon ages and Hf isotopes of the early Paleozoic flysch sequence in the Chinese Altai, NW China: New constrains on depositional age, provenance and tectonic evolution. Tectonophysics, 480: 213–231.
19. Cai K.D., Sun M., Yuan C., Zhao G.C., Xiao W.J., Long X.P., Wu F.Y., 2010. Geochronological and Geochemical study of mafic dykes from the northwest Chinese Altai: implications for ocean ridge subduction in the Devonian. Gondwana Research 18: 638-652.
20. Wong K., Sun M., Zhao G.C., Yuan C., Xiao W.J., 2010. Geochemical and geochronological studies of the Alegedayi Ophiolitic Complex and its implication for the evolution of the Chinese Altai. Gondwana Research 18: 438-454.
21. Yuan C., Sun M., Xiao W.J., Wilde S., Li X.H., Long X.P., Xia X.P., Ye K. and Li J.L., 2009. Garnet-bearing tonalitic porphyry from East Kunlun, Northeast Tibetan Plateau: implications for adakite and magmas from the MASH Zone. International Journal of Earth Sciences 98:1489–1510.
22. Xiao W.J., Windley B.F., Yuan C., Sun M., Han C.M., Lin S.F., Chen H.L., Yan Q.R., Liu D.Y., Qin K.Z., Li J.L., Sun S., 2009. Paleozoic multiple subduction-accretion processes of the southern Altaids. American Journal of Sciences, 309: 221-270.
23. Xiao W.J., Windley B.F., Huang B.C., Han C.M., Yuan C., Chen H.L., Sun M., Sun S., Li J.L., 2009. End-Permian to mid-Triassic termination of the accretionary processes of the southern Altaids: implications for the geodynamic evolution, Phanerozoic continental growth, and metallogeny of Central Asia. International Journal of Earth Sciences 98: 1219–1220.
24. Xiao W.J., Windley B.F., Yong Y., Yan Z., Yuan C., Liu C.Z., Li J.L., 2009. Early Paleozoic to Devonian multiple-accretionary model for the Qilian Shan, NW China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 35: 323-333.
25. Xiao W.J., Windley B.F., Huang B.C., Han C.M., Yuan C., Chen H.L., Sun M., Sun S., Li J.L., 2009. End-Permian to mid-Triassic termination of the accretionary processes of the southern Altaids: implications for the geodynamic evolution, Phanerozoic continental growth, and metallogeny of Central Asia. International Journal of Earth Sciences 98: 1189-1217.
26. Sun M., Long XP., Cai KD., Jiang YD., Wang BY., Yuan C., Zhao GC., Xiao WJ., Wu FY., 2009. Early Paleozoic ridge subduction in the Chinese Altai: Insight from the abrupt change in zircon Hf isotopic compositions. Science in China Series D – Earth Sciences, 52: 1345-1358.
27. Geng H.Y., Sun M., Yuan C., Xiao W. J., Xian W.S., Zhao G.C., Zhang L.F., Wong K.B., Wu F.Y., 2009. Geochemical, Sr–Nd and zircon U–Pb–Hf isotopic studies of Late Carboniferous magmatism in the West Junggar, Xinjiang: Implications for ridge subduction? Chemical Geology 26: 364-389.
28. Wong J., Sun M., Xing G.F., Li X.H., Zhao G.C., Wong K., Yuan C., Xia X.P., Li L.M., Wu F.Y., 2009. Geochemical and zircon U-Pb and Hf isotopic study of the Baijuhuajian metaluminous A-type granite: Extension at 125-100 Ma and its tectonic significance for South China. Lithos, 112: 289-305.
29. Sun M., Yuan C., Xiao W.J., Long X.P., Xia X.P., Zhao G.C., Lin S.F., Wu F.Y., Kröner A., 2008. Zircon U–Pb and Hf isotopic study of gneissic rocks from the Chinese Altai: Progressive accretionary history in the early to middle Palaeozoic. Chemical Geology 247: 352–383.
30. Sun M., Chen N.S., Zhao G.C., Wilde S.A., Ye K., Guo J.H., Chen Y., Yuan C., 2008. U-Pb zircon and Sm-Nd isotopic study of the Huangtuling granulite, Dabie-Sulu belt, China: Implication for the paleoproterozoic tectonic history of the Yangtze Craton. American Journal of Science, 308: 469-483.
31. Xiao W.J., Han C.M., Yuan C., Sun M., Lin S.F., Chen H.L., Li Z.L., Li J.L., Sun S., 2008. Middle Cambrian to Permian subduction-related accretionary orogenesis of Northern Xinjiang, NW China: Implications for the tectonic evolution of central Asia. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 32: 102-117.
32. Long X.P., Sun M., Yuan C., Xiao W.J., Cai K.D., 2008. Early Paleozoic sedimentary record of the Chinese Altai: Implications for its tectonic evolution. Sedimentary Geology, 208: 88–100.
33. Yuan Chao, Sun Min, Xiao Wenjiao, Li Xianhua, Chen Hanlin, Lin Shoufa, Xia Xiaoping, Long Xiaoping, 2007. Accretionary Orogenesis of Chinese Altai: Insights from the Paleozoic Granitoids. Chemical Geology, 242:22-39.
34. Long, X.P., Sun M., Yuan C., Xiao W.J., Lin S.F., Wu F.Y., Xia X.P., and Cai K.D., 2007. Detrital zircon age and Hf isotopic studies for metasedimentary rocks from the Chinese Altai: Implications for the Early Paleozoic tectonic evolution of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt. Tectonics, 26, TC5015, doi:10.1029/2007TC002128.
35. Li X.H., Li Z.X., Li W.X., Liu Y., Yuan C., Wei G.J., Qi C.S., 2007. U-Pb zircon, geochemical and Sr-Nd-Hf isotopic constraints on age and origin of Jurassic I- and A-type granites from central Guangdong, SE China: A major igneous event in response to foundering of a subducted flat-slab? Lithos, 96: 186-204.
36. Yuan C., Sun M., Zhou M. F., Xiao W. J., Zhou H., 2005. Geochemistry and Petrogenesis of the Yishak Volcanic Sequence, Kudi ophiolite, West Kunlun (NW China): Implications for the magmatic evolution in a subduction zone environment. Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology, 150: 195-211.
37. Yuan C., Sun M., Yang J. S., Zhou H., Zhou M. F., 2004. Nb-depleted, continental rift-related volcanism of the Arkarz greenschist (West Kunlun): implication for the break-up of the Tarim Craton from Gondwanaland, Geological Society of London, Special Publication, 226: 131-144.
38. Yuan C., M. Sun, M-F. Zhou, H. Zhou, W-J. Xiao, J-L. Li, 2003. Absence of Archean basement in the South Kunlun Block: Nd-Sr-O isotopic evidence from granitoids. The Island Arc, 12: 13-21.
39. Yuan C., M. Sun, M. F. Zhou, H. Zhou, W. J. Xiao, and J. L. Li, 2002. Tectonic evolution of the West Kunlun: Geochronologic and geochemical constraints from Kudi Granitoids. International Geology Review, 44: 653-669.