Lithospheric structure in Central Eurasia derived from elevation, geoid anomaly and thermal analysis
Alexandra M. M. Robert, Manel Fernàndez, Ivone Jiménez-Munt, Jaume Vergés, 2017. "Lithospheric structure in Central Eurasia derived from elevation, geoid anomaly and thermal analysis", Geological Evolution of Central Asian Basins and the Western Tien Shan Range, M.-F Brunet, T. McCann, E. R. Sobel
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We present new crustal and lithospheric thickness maps for Central Eurasia from the combination of elevation and geoid anomaly data and thermal analysis. The results are strongly constrained by numerous previous data based on seismological and seismic experiments, tomographic imaging and integrated geophysical studies. Our results indicate that high topography regions are associated with crustal thickening that is at a maximum below the Zagros, Himalaya, Tien Shan and the Tibetan Plateau. The stiffer continental blocks that remain undeformed within the continental collision areas are characterized by a slightly thickened crust and flat topography. Lithospheric thickness and crustal thickness show different patterns that highlight an important strain partitioning within the lithosphere. The Arabia–Eurasia collision zone is characterized by a thick lithosphere underneath the Zagros belt, whereas a thin to non-existent lithospheric mantle is observed beneath the Iranian and Anatolian plateaus. Conversely, the India–Eurasia collision zone is characterized by a very thick lithosphere below its southern part as a consequence of the underplating of the cold and stiff Indian lithosphere. Our new model presents great improvements compared to previous global models available for the region, and allows us to discuss major aspects related to the lithospheric structure and acting geodynamic processes in Central Eurasia.
Supplementary material: Residual geoid anomaly between different order and degree of filtering, our compilation of crustal thickness from publications and our resulting crustal and lithospheric thickness in .txt format are available at: http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18846
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The geological evolution of Central Asia commenced with the formation of a complex Precambrian–Palaeozoic orogen. Cimmerian blocks were then accreted to the southern margin in the Mesozoic, leading to tectonic reactivation of older structures and discrete episodes of basin formation. The Indian and Arabian blocks collided with Asia in the Cenozoic, leading to renewed structural reactivation, intracontinental deformation and basin development.
This complex evolution resulted in the present-day setting of an elongated Tien Shan range flanked by large Mesozoic–Cenozoic sedimentary basins with smaller intramontane basins distributed within the range.
This volume presents multidisciplinary results and reviews from research groups in Europe and Central Asia that focus on the western part of the Tien Shan and some of the adjacent large sedimentary basins. These works elucidate the Late Palaeozoic–Cenozoic tectono-sedimentary evolution of the area. Emphasis is given to the collision of terranes and continents and the ensuing fault reactivations. The impact of climatic changes on sedimentation is also examined.