The 1000-km-long Darlag-Lanzhou-Jingbian seismic refraction profile is located in the NE margin of the Tibetan plateau. This profile crosses the northern Songpan-Ganzi terrane, the Qinling-Qilian fold system, the Haiyuan arcuate tectonic region, and the stable Ordos basin. The P-wave and S-wave velocity structure and Poisson's ratios reveal many significant characteristics in the profile. The crustal thickness increases from northeast to southwest. The average crustal thickness observed increases from 42??km in the Ordos basin to 63??km in the Songpan-Ganzi terrane. The crust becomes obviously thicker south of the Haiyuan fault and beneath the West-Qinlin Shan. The crustal velocities have significant variations along the profile. The average P-wave velocities for the crystalline crust vary between 6.3 and 6.4??km/s. Beneath the Songpan-Ganzi terrane, West-Qinling Shan, and Haiyuan arcuate tectonic region P-wave velocities of 6.3??km/s are 0.15??km/s lower than the worldwide average of 6.45??km/s. North of the Kunlun fault, with exclusion of the Haiyuan arcuate tectonic region, the average P-wave velocity is 6.4??km/s and only 0.5??km/s lower than the worldwide average. A combination of the P-wave velocity and Poisson's ratio suggests that the crust is dominantly felsic in composition with an intermediate composition at the base. A mafic lower crust is absent in the NE margin of the Tibetan plateau from the Songpan-Ganzi terrane to the Ordos basin. There are low velocity zones in the West-Qinling Shan and the Haiyuan arcuate tectonic region. The low velocity zones have low S-wave velocities and high Poisson's ratios, so it is possible these zones are due to partial melting. The crust is divided into two layers, the upper and the lower crust, with crustal thickening mainly in the lower crust as the NE Tibetan plateau is approached. The results in the study show that the thickness of the lower crust increases from 22 to 38??km as the crustal thickness increases from 42??km in the Ordos basin to 63??km in the Songpan-Ganzi terrane south of the Kunlun fault. Both the Conrad discontinuity and Moho in the West-Qinling Shan and in the Haiyuan arcuate tectonic region are laminated interfaces, implying intense tectonic activity. The arcuate faults and large earthquakes in the Haiyuan arcuate tectonic region are the result of interaction between the Tibetan plateau and the Sino-Korean and Gobi Ala Shan platforms. ?? 2006.
Additional publication details
Crustal structure of the northeastern margin of the Tibetan plateau from the Songpan-Ganzi terrane to the Ordos basin