Mesozoic tectonic evolution of the Longmenshan thrust belt, East Tibet

Abstract : The Longmenshan Thrust Belt (LMTB), constituting the eastern boundary of the Tibetan Plateau, is well known by its steep topography, intensive tectonic activities and the complicated structures. As a typical composite orogen, the LMTB experienced extensive intracontinental deformation during the Mesozoic. The knowledge on the Mesozoic tectonic evolution of the LMTB therefore is crucial to understand the intracontinental orogeny and uplifting of the Plateau. The vertical cleavage belt divides the LMTB into a Western Zone and an Eastern Zone. The Eastern Zone displays a top-to-the-SE shearing while the western zone a top-to-the-NW shearing. The Eastern Zone can be further divided into four subunits with foliations deepening from SE to NW. The syntectonic granite and published geochronologic data constrain this main deformation to the Early Mesozoic around 219 Ma. Structural analysis, AMS and microstructural study and gravity modeling on the Pengguan complex, one of the orogen-parallel Neoproterozoic complexes located in the middle segment of the LMTB, reveal a basement-slice imbricated structure of the LMTB and adjacent areas. Published ages, localized fast exhumation rate and flexural subsidence of the foreland basin suggest that the basement-slices imbricated southeastwards during Late Mesozoic (166-120 Ma). The LMTB is far away from the contemporaneous plate boundary and devoid of ophiolite-related material, therefore, it is supposed to be an intracontinental orogen. During the Early Mesozoic, the Yangtze basement underthrusted westwards due to the far-field effect of the Paleo-Tethys’ obliteration, and the materials in different structural levels have been exhumated to the surface by southeastward thrusting and contemporaneous backward thrusting. During the Late Mesozoic, the basement is further underthrusted due to the collision between the Lhasa and Eurasia blocks, which led to SE-ward imbrication of the basementslices that may thicken the crust.
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Zhenhua Xue. Mesozoic tectonic evolution of the Longmenshan thrust belt, East Tibet. Earth Sciences. Université d'Orléans, 2017. Chinese. ⟨NNT : 2017ORLE2020⟩. ⟨tel-01865843⟩

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