The significance of zircon U-Pb ages in the Ba river basin to the timing of major tectonic stages of Kontum massif

Doan Dinh Hung, Yukiyasu Tsutsumi, Toshifumi Komatsu, Nguyen Hoang, Nguyen Ba Hung, Trinh Thai Ha, Nguyen Thi Dung, Nguyen Trung Minh


Ba River originates from the Ngoc Linh mountain ranges, NW of Kontum massif and flows into the East Sea from the Da Rang estuary. The Ba River basin (Da Rang river) is considered as the means of transport and storage of products from the Kontum massif resulted following weathering, erosion or deformation processes either by natural causes or the regional thermo-tectonic events. A total of 122 zircon grains separated from the Ba River basin sediments are selected for U-Pb isotopic age dating by LA-ICP-MS method. Among the 122 samples, 114 are concordant, forming 3 major age groups, including middle-Late Cretaceous (105–85 Ma), Middle Permian - Late Triassic (270–211 Ma), Late Ordovician - Early Silurian (455–424 Ma). A few samples show ages scattering from 1470 to 970 Ma (Mesoproterozoic), and one sample shows a value of 2383±24 Ma (Paleoproterozoic). The acquired U-Pb zircon ages may reflect 3 major thermo- tectonic stages in the formation and evolution of the Kontum Massif from the Early Paleoproterozoic till middle-Late Cretaceous, with the most significant time being Middle Permian (270 Ma)-Late Triassic (211 Ma) (97 over 122 samples, e.g., 79,5%), corresponding to the period of convergence, collision and orogeny of the Indosinian block.


Biao S., Allen P. Nutman, Liu D., Wu J., 1996. 3800 to 2500 Ma crustal evolution in the Anshan area of Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Precambrian Research, 78(1–3), 79–94.

Bui M.T., Nguyen T.B.T., Chen F., Trinh X.H., 2009. TIMS U-Pb zircon age for the garnet-biotite granite of the Plei Manko complex in the Kontum Geoblock. J. Sci. of the Earth, 31(1), 17–22.

Carter A., Roque D., Bristow C., Kinny P., 2001. Understanding Mesozoic accretion in Southeast Asia: Significance of Triassic thermotectonism (Indosinian orogeny) in Vietnam. Geology, 29(3), 211–214.

Chen Z.Y., Lu L.Z., Gupta A., 2001. The Yangtze River: an introduction. Geomorphology, 41(23), 73–75.

He M., Zheng H., Bookhagen B., Clift P.D., 2014. Controls on erosion intensity in the Yangtze River basin tracked by U-Pb detrital zircon dating. Earth-Science Reviews, 136, 121–140.

He M., Zheng H., Clift P.D., 2013a. Zircon U–Pb geochronology and Hf isotope data from the Yangtze River sands: implications for major magmatic events and crustal evolution in Central China. Chemical Geology, 360–361, 186–203.

He M., Zheng H., Huang X., Jia J., Li L., 2013b. Yangtze River sediments from source to sink traced with clay mineralogy. J. Asian Earth Sci., 69(5), 60–69.

Horie K., Takehara M., Suda Y., Hidaka H., 2013. Potential Mesozoic reference zircon from the Unazuki plutonic complex: geochronological and geochemical characterization. Island Arc, 22, 292–305.

Hutton C.O., 1950. Studies of heavy detrital minerals. Bulletin of Geological Society of America, 61, 635–710.

Hutchison C.S., 1989. Geological Evolution of Southeast Asia. Clarendon, Oxford, 368p.

Lan C.Y., et al., 2003. Geochemical and Sr-Nd isotopic constraints from the Kontum massif, Central Vietnam on the crustal evolution of the Indochina block, Precambrian Research, 122, 7–27.

Lepvrier C., Maluski H., Nguyen V.V., Roques D., Axente V., Rangin C., 1997. Indosinian NW-trending shear zones within the Truong Son belt (Vietnam). Tectonophysics, 283, 105–127.

Lepvrier C., Nguyen V.V., Maluski H., Phan T.T., Vu V.T., 2008. Indosinian tectonics in Vietnam. C. R. Geoscience, 340, 94–111.

Liu J., Liu Z-H., Zhao C., Wang C., Peng Y., Zhang H., 2017. Petrogenesis and zircon LA-ICP-MS U-Pb dating of newly discovered Mesoarchean gneisses on the northern margin of the North China Craton. Journal of International Geology Review, 59(12), 1575-1589.

Maluski H., Lepvrier H., Leyreloup C., Vu V.T., Phan T.T., 2005. 40Ar-39Ar geochronology of charnockites and granulites of the Kan Nack complex, Kon Tum Massif, Vietnam. Journal of Asian Earth Science, 25, 653–677.

Mange M.A., Maurer H.F.W., 1992. Heavy Minerals in Colour. Hong Kong. Chapman & Hall, London.

Nagy E.A., Maluski H., Lepvrier C., Scharer U., Phan T.T., Leloup A., Vu V.T., 2001. Geodynamic significance of the Kontum Massif in central Vietnam: Composite 40Ar/39Ar and U-Pb ages from Paleozoic to Triasic. Geology, 109, 755–770.

Nguyen Thi Dung, Pham Trung Hieu, Nguyen Trung Minh, 2015. U-Pb zircon age of granitogneiss of the Dai Loc complex and their Geological significances. J. Sci. of the Earth, 37(1), 1–7. 

Osanai Y., Trinh V. Long, Owada M., Tsunogae T., Toyoshima T., Hokada T., Sajeev K., Nakano K., 2001. Ultrahigh-Temperature Granulites from Kon Tum Massif, Central Viet Nam: Evidence for East Asian Juxtaposition at ca. 250Ma. Intern. Symp. on Assembly and Breakup of Rodinia and Gondwana, and Growth of Asia, Osaka (Abstract).

Osanai Y., Nakano F., Owada M., Tran N. Nam, Toyoshima T., Tsunogae T., Kagami H., 2003. metamorphic and tectonics activities in the Kontum Terrane, Viet Nam. Chikyu Monthly, 25(3), 244–251.

Owaga M., Osanai Y., Nakano N., Matsushita T., Tran N. Nam, Tsunogae T., Toyoshima T., Pham Binh, Kagami H., 2007. Crustal anatexis and formation of two types of granitic magmas in the Kontum masif, central Vietnam: Implications for magma processes in collision zones. Gondwana Research. Doi: 10.1016/

Paces J.B., Miller J.D., 1993. Precise U-Pb age of Duluth Complex and related mafic intrusions, northern Minnesota: geochronological insights to physical, petrogenetic, paleomagnetic, and tectonomagmatic processes associated with the 1.1 Ga midcontinent rift system. Journal of Geophysical Research, 98, 13997–14013.

Pham Trung Hieu et al., 2013. Geochemistry and zircon U–Pb ages and Hf isotopic composition of Permian alkali granitoids of the Phan Si Pan zone in northwestern Vietnam. Journal of Geodynamics, 69, 106–121.

Pham Trung Hieu, Huynh Trung, 2015. U-Pb zircon age of quartz diorite from Ben Giang intrusive complex in the Ben Giang area, Quang Nam Province. J. Sci. of the Earth, 37(2), 156–162. 

Phan Cu Tien, et al., 1989. Geology of Kampuchea, Laos and Vietnam (Explanatory note to the geological map of Kampuchea, Laos and Vietnam at 1/1.000.000 scale). Institute of Information and Documentation of Mines and Geology, Hanoi, p.149.

Shao T., Cheng L., Song M., 2016. Provenance and tectonic-paleogeographic evolution: Constraints from detrital zircon U-Pb ages of Late Triassic-Early Jurassic deposits in the northern Sichuan basin, central China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 127, 12–31.

Stacey J.S., Kramers J.D., 1975. Approximation of terrestrial lead isotope evolution by a two-stage model. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 26, 207–221.

Tong Duy Thanh, Vu Khuc et al., 2005. Stratigraphic units of Viet Nam (Vietnamese version). Vietnam National University Press, Ha Noi.

Tong Duy Thanh, Vu Khuc (Eds.), 2011. Stratigraphic units of Vietnam. Vietnam National University Press, Ha Noi, 526p.

Tran N. Nam, 2004. U-Pb zircon 436 Ma isotopic age of the Re river Complex in the Kon Tum Massif and its implications, Journal of Geology, A281, 18–23.

Tran N. Nam, 1998. Thermotectonic events from Early Proterozoic to Miocene in the Indochina craton: implications of K-Ar ages in Vietnam. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 16(5-6), 475–484.

Tran N. Nam, Nguyen V.C., Hoang H.T., 2002.  U-Pb age zircon of basement crystallization complex in Kon Tum Terrence and its implications. 

Tran N. Nam, Osanai Y., Owada M., Nakano N., Hoang H.T., 2003. Ultrahigh-temperature (UHT) granulites from the Kon Tum Massif: Petrography and P-T paths. Journal of Geology, A(279), 1–7, Ha Noi.

Tran N. Nam, Sano Y., Terada K., Toriumi M., Phan Van Quynh, Le T.D, 2001. First SHRIMP U-Pb zircon dating of granulites from the Kontum massif (Vietnam) and tectonothermal implications. J. Asian Earth Sciences, 19, 77–84.

Tran N.N., Osanai Y., Nakano N., Hoang H.T., 2004. Permo-Triassic ultrahigh-temperature metamorphism and continental collision in the Kon Tum massif? Journal of Geology, A(285),1–8.

Tran T. Hai, Zaw K., Halpin, J.A., Manaka T., Meffre S., Lai C-K., Lee Y., Le V.H., Dinh Sang, 2014. The Tam Ky-Phuoc Son Shear Zone in central Vietnam: Tectonic and metallogenic implications. Gondwana Research, 26(1), 144–164.

Tran Van Tri, Vu Khuc (Eds.), 2011. Geology and Earth resources of Vietnam. Publishing House for Science and Technology, 645p., Ha Noi.

Tsutsumi Y., Horie K., Sano T., Miyawaki R., Momma K., Matsubara S., Shigeoka M., Yokoyama K., 2012. LA-ICP-MS and SHRIMP ages of zircons in chevkinite and monazite tuffs from the Boso Peninsula, Central Japan. Bulletin of the National Museum of Nature and Science, Series, C38, 15–32.

Vu Van Tich, 2004. La Chaine Indosinienne au Vietnam: Petrologie et Geochronolo- gie du Bloc Metamorphique de Kon Tum. These de Doctorate, Universite de Montpellier, 2, 202p.

 Vu Van Tich, Leyreloup A., Maluski H., Lepvrier C., Lo C-H., Nguyen Van Vuong, 2013. Metamorphic evolution of politic-semipelitic granulites in the Kon Tum massif (south-central Vietnam). Journal of Geodynamics, 69, 148–154.

Wang L.-J., Griffin W.L., Yu J.-H., O'Reilly S.Y., 2010. Precambrian crustal evolution of the Yangtze Block tracked by detrital zircons from Neoproterozoic sedimentary rocks. Precambrian Res., 177(1–2), 131–144.

Yokoyama K., Tsutsumi Y., Das K., 2010. Age Distribution of Monazites in Sands Collected from the Most Important Rivers in Asia.  Mem. Natl. Mus. Nat. Sci., Tokyo, 46, 109–118.

Yokoyama K., Tsutsumi Y., Nguy T.N., Phan V.Q., 2010. Age Distribution of Monazites from the Nine Rivers of Vietnam. Mem. Natl. Mus. Nat. Sci., Tokyo, 46, 97–108.

Zhang H.F., Zhang L.,  Harris N., Jin L.L., Yuan H., 2006. U–Pb zircon ages, geochemical and isotopic compositions of granitoids in Songpan-Garze fold belt, eastern Tibetan Plateau: constraints on petrogenesis and tectonic evolution of the basement. Contribution to Mineralogy and Petrology, 152, 75–88.


Zircon U-Pb dating, Kontum massif, Ba River basin, Vietnam Western Highlands



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Vietnam Journal of Earth Sciences, ISSN: 0866 - 7187

Contact address:;;

Index: Google ScholarNRSJ (Norway)CrossrefGeoRef (American Geosciences Institute)VCGScilit (Switzerland)Copernicus InternationalAsean Citation IndexCiteFactor

© Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST)