The Jinshajiang Suture Zone is important for enhancing our understanding of the evolution of the Paleo-Tethys and its age, tectonic setting and relationship to the Ailaoshan Suture Zone have long been controversial. Based on integrated tectonic, biostratigraphic, chemostratigraphic and isotope geochronological studies, four tectono-stratigraphic units can be recognized in the Jinshajiang Suture Zone: the Eaqing Complex, the Jinshajiang Ophiolitic Melange, the Gajinxueshan Group and the Zhongxinrong Group. Isotope geochronology indicates that the redefined Eaqing Complex, composed of high-grade-metamorphic rocks, might represent the metamorphic basement of the Jinshajiang area or a remnant micro-continental fragment. Eaqing Complex protolith rocks are pre-Devonian and probably of EarlyMiddle Proterozoic age and are correlated with those of the Ailaoshan Complex. Two zircon UPb ages of 340±3 and 294 ± 3Ma, separately dated from the Shusong and Xuitui plagiogranites within the ophiolitic assemblage, indicate that the Jinshajiang oceanic lithosphere formed in latest Devonian to earliest Carboniferous times. The oceanic lithosphere was formed in association with the opening and spreading of the Jinshajiang oceanic basin, and was contiguous and equivalent to the Ailaoshan oceanic lithosphere preserved in the Shuanggou Ophiolitic Melange in the Ailaoshan Suture Zone
the latter yielded a UPb age of 362 ± 41Ma from plagiogranite. The re-defined Gajinxueshan and Zhongxinrong groups are dated as Carboniferous to Permian, and latest Permian to Middle Triassic respectively, on the basis of fossils and UPb dating of basic volcanic interbeds. The Gajinxueshan Group formed in bathyal slope to neritic shelf environments, and the Zhongxinrong Group as bathyal to abyssal turbidites in the JinshajiangAilaoshan back-arc basin. Latest Permianearliest Middle Triassic synorogenic granitoids, with ages of 238±18 and 227 ±5-255± 8Ma, respectively, and an Upper Triassic overlap molasse sequence, indicate a Middle Triassic age for the JinshajiangAilaoshan Suture, formed by collision of the Changdu-Simao Block with South China.