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Modelling the collisional and sedimentary evolution of the western part of the Tien Shan

January 01, 2017


Based on new structural and petrological investigations, we present two crustal-scale cross-sections of the Kyrgyz South Tien Shan, and correlations of main faults and units between Kyrgyzstan and China. The overall structure corresponds to a doubly-vergent mountain belt. The Kyrgyz and Chinese areas exhibit identical structural and metamorphic histories. To the west, the Atbashi Range comprises high-pressure oceanic and continental units stacked by north-verging thrusts above a low metamorphic accretionary prism. High-pressure (HP) gneisses are bound to their south by a south-dipping detachment exhibiting mantle relicts. The high-pressure oceanic and continental units underwent similar pressure–temperature (PT) paths with peak conditions of around 500 °C–20 kbar, followed by rapid exhumation. The overall south-dipping structure and kinematics indicate a south-dipping subduction of the Central Tien Shan Ocean at 320–310 Ma, ending with the docking of the Tarim block to the Kazakh continent. To the east, the Pobeda Massif shows a narrow push-up structure. A major north-vergent thrust exhumes deep-crustal-level granulites, constituting the highest summits, which were thrust towards the north onto low-grade Devonian–Carboniferous schists. The southern part of South Tien Shan is made up of a south-verging thrust stack that formed later during ongoing convergence, reactivated throughout post-30 Ma phases.

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Geological Society

Geological Evolution of Central Asian Basins and the Western Tien Shan Range

M.-F Brunet
M.-F Brunet
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T. McCann
T. McCann
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E. R. Sobel
E. R. Sobel
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Geological Society of London
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 2017




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