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Tibet plateau and orogenic belts
announcer:userenRelease date:2017-01-13Views:626
 Tibetan Plateau Tectonics

3.1 Main research contents and progress

Much of the Tibetan Plateau’s current high topography and crustal thickness have been commonly  assumed  to  be  a  product  of  collision  and  convergence  between  the  Indian  and Eurasian plates since ~55-50 Ma. However, a growing body of evidence implies considerable pre-collision crustal shortening and surface uplift across the plateau, and minor exhumation in the plateau interior since 45 Ma. So far, how such pre-existing crustal and topographic features before the collision of the Indian and Asian plates shape the Cenozoic plateau is not well understood. Decoding mountain building processes of the Tibetan Plateau and their geodynamics requires documenting long-term orogenic scale uplift and exhumation histories. Many areas of the orogen have well documented cooling histories constrained by dense thermochronologic datasets, such as the southern and eastern plateau margins. In contrast, the exhumation histories of the northwestern plateau margin, in particular the West Kunlun Mountains, remain poorly constrained so far, due to scarce thermochronologic data in this vast region of remote mountains. As such, the onset of plateau formation in northwestern Tibet remains largely disputed, ranging from 46 Ma to 4.5 Ma. This study presents a comprehensive dataset of zircon U-Pb and fission- track double-dating results from Cenozoic synorogenic sediment successions in the foreland basin of the West Kunlun ranges. We thus propose that the West Kunlun Mountains are a long- lived  topographic  unit,  dating  back  to  Triassic-Early  Jurassic  times,  and  have  experienced


Middle-Late Mesozoic to Early Cenozoic rejuvenation and Late Oligocene-Miocene expansion. This research result has been published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters (T1).

Contact: Kai Cao

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Topographic map of the Tibetan plateau showing major faults with timing of activity.

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A four-stage scenario for the tectonic evolution of northwestern Tibet during (A) Permian– Triassic, (B) Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous, (C) PaleoceneEarly Eocene and (D) Late OligoceneEarly Miocene,

respectively, with a focus on the West Kunlun Mts. and adjacent Tarim Basin.


3.2 Scientific research projects

This research direction was funded by the Geological Survey Project of China (3 projects), the

National Natural Science Foundation of China (2 projects).

3.3 Research papers

We have published 1 paper in T1 journal and 1 paper in T2 journal during 2014-2015. (See attachment).

Middle-Late Mesozoic to Early Cenozoic rejuvenation and Late Oligocene-Miocene expansion. This research result has been published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters (T1).

Contact: Kai Cao

Topographic map of the Tibetan plateau showing major faults with timing of activity.

A four-stage scenario for the tectonic evolution of northwestern Tibet during (A) Permian– Triassic, (B) Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous, (C) PaleoceneEarly Eocene and (D) Late OligoceneEarly Miocene,

respectively, with a focus on the West Kunlun Mts. and adjacent Tarim Basin.


3.2 Scientific research projects

This research direction was funded by the Geological Survey Project of China (3 projects), the

National Natural Science Foundation of China (2 projects).

3.3 Research papers

We have published 1 paper in T1 journal and 1 paper in T2 journal during 2014-2015. (See attachment).