EGU2020-10716, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Proterozoic microcontinents in the western Central Asian Orogenic Belt (Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan): relationship with Gondwana

Andrey K. Khudoley1, Dmitriy V. Alexeiev2, and S. Andrew DuFrane3
Andrey K. Khudoley et al.
  • 1St. Petersburg State University, Institute of Earth Sciences, Regional Geology, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation (
  • 2Geological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation (
  • 3University of Alberta, Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (

Proterozoic microcontinents are widespread in the western part of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt, but their origin remains poorly constrained. The U-Pb dating of detrital zircons in Proterozoic rocks of the southern Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz North Tianshan elucidate depositional ages and evolution of the Precambrian basins and characterize possible links of Precambrian microcontinents in these regions with Gondwana and other cratons.

Distributions of U-Pb detrital zircon ages in 13 samples from ca 5 km thick flysch-like succession of the Talas and Malyi Karatau ranges (Ishim-Middle-Tianshan microcontinent) show significant similarity. They are characterized by a widespread occurrence of Neoproterozoic grains with peaks at ca 820-800 and 910–860 Ma, almost complete absence of Mesoproterozoic grains and distinct peaks at ca 2040–1990 and 2500–2465 Ma for Paleoproterozoic grains. Archean grains occur in small amount. Close similarity is supported by K-S test indicating that samples have the same or similar provenance, also implying rapid accumulation and similar depositional ages. Main peaks resemble those in the Tarim Craton, suggesting Tarim as likely provenance and pointing to the Gondwana affinity of the Ishim-Middle-Tianshan microcontinent.

In contrast, detrital zircon populations in 3 samples from the Neoproterozoic quartzites of the North Tianshan microcontinent are dominated by Mesoproterozoic grains ranging in age from ca 1500 to 1000 Ma and contain few Paleoproterozoic grains ca 1800-1650 Ma. Distributions of U-Pb zircon ages in all 3 samples are very similar and resemble those in the early Neoproterozoic quartzites from the Kokchetav area of northern Kazakhstan, recently reported by Kovach et al. (2017). Age peaks in these samples are very different from the ages of magmatic pulses in Gondwana and point that the North Tianshan microcontinent did not have connection with Gondwana.

The Ishim-Middle-Tianshan microcontinent was rifted out from the Gondwana in late Neoproterozoic and travelled to the north. Origin and travel paths of the North Tianshan microcontinent remain poorly constrained. Widespread occurrence of Mesoproterozoic zircons implies possible links with Baltica, North America or east Siberia, but more detailed study is required to define exact provenance. These two microcontinents welded together in the middle to late Ordovician during amalgamation of the Kazakhstan paleocontinent and were jointly incorporated in Eurasia during the late Paleozoic collisions of the Kazakhstan continent with Siberia, Baltica and Tarim.

The study was supported by RFBR grant 20-05-00252

How to cite: Khudoley, A. K., Alexeiev, D. V., and DuFrane, S. A.: Proterozoic microcontinents in the western Central Asian Orogenic Belt (Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan): relationship with Gondwana, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10716,, 2020