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Late Miocene hinterland crustal shortening in the Longmen Shan thrust belt, the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau

Shen, X; Tian, Y; Zhang, G; Zhang, S; Carter, A; Kohn, B; Vermeesch, P; ... Li, W; + view all (2019) Late Miocene hinterland crustal shortening in the Longmen Shan thrust belt, the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth , 124 (11) pp. 11972-11991. 10.1029/2019jb018358. Green open access

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Abstract

Long‐term (million‐year time scale) fault‐slip history is crucial for understanding the processes and mechanisms of mountain building in active orogens. Such information remains elusive in the Longmen Shan, the eastern Tibetan Plateau margin affected by the devastating 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Whilst this event drew attention to fault deformation on the foreland side (the Yingxiu‐Beichuan fault), little is known about the deformation history of the hinterland Wenchuan‐Maoxian fault. To address this gap, thermochronological data were obtained from two vertical transects from the Xuelongbao massif, located in the hanging wall of the Wenchuan‐Maoxian fault. The data record late Miocene rapid cooling and rock exhumation at a rate of 0.9‐1.2 km/m.y. from ~13 Ma to present. The exhumation rate is significantly higher than that in the footwall (~0.3‐0.5 km/m.y.), indicating a differential exhumation of ~0.6 km/m.y. across the fault. This differential exhumation provides the first and minimum constraint on the long‐term throw rate (~0.6 km/m.y) of the Wenchuan‐Maoxian fault since the late Miocene. This new result implies continuous crustal shortening along the hinterland fault of Longmen Shan, even though it has not been ruptured by major historic earthquakes. Our study lends support to geodynamic models that highlight crustal shortening as dominating deformation along the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

Type: Article
Title: Late Miocene hinterland crustal shortening in the Longmen Shan thrust belt, the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/2019jb018358
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1029/2019jb018358
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10084115
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