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Ordovician paleogeography and tectonics of the major paleoplates of China

By
Chen Xu
Chen Xu
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
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Zhou Zhi-yi
Zhou Zhi-yi
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
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Fan Jun-xuan
Fan Jun-xuan
State Key Laboratory of Palaeobiology and Stratigraphy, Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
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Published:
April 01, 2010

The tectonics and paleogeography of Ordovician rocks in China record the four major paleoplates—the South China, North China, Tarim, and Xizang (Tibet) Blocks. New paleogeographic maps of South China for the Tremadocian, Darriwilian, Sandbian–early Katian, and late Katian–Hirnatian time intervals display lithofacies and biofacies belts that depict continuous changes from the Yangtze Platform through the Chiangnan (Jiangnan) Slope to the Zhujiang Basin. North China was dominantly a carbonate platform during the Ordovician. Facies belts, particularly the trilobite biofacies belts, change westward from the platform edge to the slope along the west margin of the platform. In Tarim, Ordovician rocks provide the main source and reservoir rocks for oil and gas. The vast expanse of the block was a northward-deepening, shallow-water platform that was fringed by peripheral, deeper water facies belts developed along the northern side of the South Tianshan. Facies analysis indicates that the paleogeographic setting varied in response to eustatic sea level changes. North of the Tibet Block lies a long mobile belt that crosses more than half of China from west to east. The Tibet Block is mainly composed of two units, the north Qiantang region, which remained as a separate, small paleoplate through the late Paleozoic, and the south Gandise-Himalaya region, which persisted as a distinct paleoplate through the late Paleozoic and well into the Mesozoic. Ordovician rocks consisting mainly of carbonates with shelly faunas have been recorded from regions of the Tibet Block.

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GSA Special Papers

The Ordovician Earth System

Stanley C. Finney
Stanley C. Finney
Department of Geological Sciences, California State University at Long Beach, Long Beach, California, USA
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William B.N. Berry
William B.N. Berry
Department of Earth and Planetary Science University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
466
ISBN print:
9780813724669
Publication date:
April 01, 2010

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