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Thermochronologic evidence for plateau formation in central Tibet by 45 Ma

  • The timing of Tibetan plateau development remains elusive, despite its importance for evaluating models of continental lithosphere deformation and associated changes in surface elevation and climate. We present new thermochronologic data [biotite and K-feldspar Ar-40/Ar-39, apatite fission track, and apatite (U-Th)/He] from the central Tibetan plateau (Lhasa and Qiangtang terranes). The data indicate that over large regions, rocks underwent rapid to moderate cooling and exhumation during Cretaceous to Eocene time. This was coeval with >50% upper crustal shortening, suggesting substantial crustal thickening and surface elevation gain. Thermal modeling of combined thermochronometers requires exhumation of most samples to depths of <3 km between 85 and 45 Ma, followed by a decrease in erosional exhumation rate to low values of <0.05 mm/yr. The thermochronological results, when interpreted in the context of the deformation and paleoaltimetric history, are best explained by a scenario of plateau growth that began locally in central TibetThe timing of Tibetan plateau development remains elusive, despite its importance for evaluating models of continental lithosphere deformation and associated changes in surface elevation and climate. We present new thermochronologic data [biotite and K-feldspar Ar-40/Ar-39, apatite fission track, and apatite (U-Th)/He] from the central Tibetan plateau (Lhasa and Qiangtang terranes). The data indicate that over large regions, rocks underwent rapid to moderate cooling and exhumation during Cretaceous to Eocene time. This was coeval with >50% upper crustal shortening, suggesting substantial crustal thickening and surface elevation gain. Thermal modeling of combined thermochronometers requires exhumation of most samples to depths of <3 km between 85 and 45 Ma, followed by a decrease in erosional exhumation rate to low values of <0.05 mm/yr. The thermochronological results, when interpreted in the context of the deformation and paleoaltimetric history, are best explained by a scenario of plateau growth that began locally in central Tibet during the Late Cretaceous and expanded to encompass most of central Tibet by 45 Ma.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Alexander Rohrmann, Paul Kapp, Barbara Carrapa, Peter W. Reiners, Jerome Guynn, Lin Ding, Matthew Heizler
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1130/G32530.1
ISSN:0091-7613
Parent Title (English):Geology
Publisher:American Institute of Physics
Place of publication:Boulder
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2012
Year of Completion:2012
Release Date:2017/03/26
Volume:40
Issue:2
Pagenumber:4
First Page:187
Last Page:190
Funder:National Science Foundation [EAR-0438120, EAR-0808976, EAR-1008527]; American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund; Chinese Academy of Sciences [KZCX2-YW-Q09-03]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert