Cenozoic mountain building on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau




Northeastern Tibetan Plateau growth illuminates the kinematics, geodynamics, and climatic consequences of large-scale orogenesis, yet only recently have data become available to outline the spatiotemporal pattern and rates of this growth. I review the tectonic history of range growth across the plateau margin north of the Kunlun fault (35°–40°N) and east of the Qaidam basin (98°–107°E), synthesizing records from fault-bounded mountain ranges and adjacent sedimentary basins. Deformation began in Eocene time shortly after India-Asia collision, but the northeastern orogen boundary has largely remained stationary since this time. Widespread middle Miocene–Holocene range growth is portrayed by accelerated deformation, uplift, erosion, and deposition across northeastern Tibet. The extent of deformation, however, only expanded ~150 km outward to the north and east and ~150 km laterally to the west. A middle Miocene reorganization of deformation characterized by shortening at various orientations heralds the onset of the modern kinematic regime where shortening is coupled to strike slip. This regime is responsible for the majority of Cenozoic crustal shortening and thickening and the development of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Cenozoic mountain building on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau
Volume 507
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Publisher location Boulder, CO
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center Geology Minerals
Description 13 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Toward an Improved Understanding of Uplift Mechanisms and the Elevation History of the Tibetan Plateau
First page 115
Last page 127
Other Geospatial Northeastern Tibetan Plateau