Plate tectonics of Asia: geological and geophysical constraints. Gondwana Res

Gondwana Research (Impact Factor: 8.24). 09/2012; 22(2):353-359. DOI: 10.1016/
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    ABSTRACT: The tectonic framework of China within the wider Asian context, together with tectono-thermal events that have formed the various mineral systems are presented in this chapter. The geological configuration of present-day China is characterised by terranes and provinces that comprise the North China Craton and Tarim Craton amalgamated during the Archaean and Palaeoproterozoic between 3.2 and 1.8 Ga. The east-west aligned (present day coordinates) North China Craton and Tarim cratonic block are framed to the north by orogens of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB), which in China include the Tianshan and Altay in the northwest and the Hinggan fold belt to the east. The CAOB terranes are the result of accretionary events, which attained their main configuration following the closure of oceanic seaways, such as the Mongol-Okhotsk ocean. In east-central and southern China are the Yangtze Craton and Cathaysia Block, bordered to the west and southwest by the Himalayan fold belts of the Tibetan region. These terranes were largely affected by a series of tectono-thermal events and strike-slip structures, in the Mesozoic and continuing to present day. A figure showing an overview of the distribution of Phaneorozoic mineral systems associated to these events is presented in this chapter. Large and small rift basins, containing important hydrocarbon resources and sandstone-hosted U deposits, are superimposed on the older terranes.
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 2013
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    ABSTRACT: Major porphyry Cu-Au and Cu-Mo deposits are distributed across almost 5000 km across central Eurasia, from the Urals Mountains in Russia in the west, to Inner Mongolia in north-eastern China. These deposits were formed during multiple magmatic episodes from the Ordovician to the Jurassic. They are associated with magmatic arcs within the extensive subduction-accretion complex of the Altaid and Transbaikal-Mongolian orogenic collages that developed from the late Neoproterozoic, through the Palaeozoic, to the Jurassic intracratonic extension. The arcs formed predominantly on the Palaeo-Tethys Ocean margin of the proto-Asian continent, but also within two back-arc basins. The development of the collages commenced when slivers of an older Proterozoic subduction complex were rifted from an existing cratonic mass and accreted to the Palaeo-Tethys Ocean margin of the combined Eastern Europe and Siberian cratons. Subduction of the Palaeo-Tethys Ocean beneath the Karakum and Altai-Tarim microcontinents and the associated back-arc basin produced the overlapping late Neoproterozoic to early Palaeozoic Tuva-Mongol and Kipchak magmatic arcs. Contemporaneous intra-oceanic subduction within the back-arc basin from the Late Ordovician produced the parallel Urals-Zharma magmatic arc, and separated the main Khanty-Mansi back-arc basin from the inboard Sakmara marginal sea. By the Late Devonian, the Tuva-Mongol and Kipchak arcs had amalgamated to form the Kazakh-Mongol arc. By the mid Palaeozoic, the two principal cratonic elements, the Siberian and Eastern European cratons, had begun to rotate relative to each other, "drawing-in" the two sets of parallel arcs to form the Kazakh Orocline between the two cratons. During the Late Devonian to Early Carboniferous, the Palaeo-Pacific Ocean began subducting below the Siberian craton to form the Sayan-Transbaikal arc, which expanded by the Permian to become the Selanga-Gobi-Khanka arc. By the Middle to Late Permian, as the Kazakh Orocline continued to develop, both the Sakmara and Khanty-Mansi back-arc basins were closed and the collage of cratons and arcs were sutured by accretionary complexes. During the Permian and Triassic, the North China craton approached and docked with the continent, closing the Mongol-Okhotsk Sea, an embayment on the Palaeo-Pacific margin, to form the Mongolian Orocline. Subduction and arc-building activity on the Palaeo-Pacific Ocean margin continued to the mid Mesozoic as the Indosinian and Yanshanian orogens.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Journal of Asian Earth Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: The North–South-Trending Tectonic Zone (NSTZ) marking the transition between West China and the North China Craton is an earthquake-prone region. The NSTZ is located along the junction between the Indian Plate–Tibetan Plateau collision and E–W extrusion, as well as the westward subduction of the Pacific Plate, thus constituting an important region for studies related to continental dynamics. Here, we investigate the structure of the crust and upper mantle along this zone by employing the H-k stacking of receiver function and the depth domain receiver function. Our results identify notable variation in crustal thickness, an elevation of the upper mantle discontinuities, and convective removal of the mafic lower crust through either delamination or Pacific Plate subduction beneath the region, generating a cold domain in the mantle transition zone. The converging tectonic stresses contribute to making the NSTZ an earthquake-prone zone.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · Jan 2014