The northern piedmont of Tian Shan : a case study of immature range front

Abstract : The modern Tian Shan (Central Asia) is considered as a direct consequence of the reactivation of a Paleozoic orogenic belt due to the India – Asia collision, during Cenozoic times. A detailed work has been investigated along the northern piedmont of Tian Shan, integrating the field work, structural analysis, seismic profile data, gravity anomaly measurements and drilled wells. Firstly, this study brings new and direct evidences, at different scales, for the existence of a major paleo-relief along the northern Tian Shan range during Mesozoic, and particularly during Jurassic times. Secondly, the calculated shortening amount in the northern piedmont of Tian Shan is rather small and the structural pattern of its front is heterogeneous along-strike. While, thrusting of the Paleozoic basement on the Mesozoic or Cenozoic sedimentary series of the basin is remarkably exposed along several river valleys, other sections display continuous Triassic to Jurassic sedimentary series from the basin to the range where they unconformably overlie on the Carboniferous basement. Four cross-sections are made by integrating multi-method data, showing that shortening amounts are less than 20% and could be even until to 6%. This suggests that the Tian Shan intracontinental range is rather “young” and still at a primary stage of its tectonic evolution. In other words, its front may be considered as a typical example of an immature range front.
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Ke Chen. The northern piedmont of Tian Shan : a case study of immature range front. Earth Sciences. Université d'Orléans; Institute of geology and geophysics, Chinese academy of sciences, 2010. English. ⟨NNT : 2010ORLE2049⟩. ⟨tel-00597191⟩

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