Abstract

The Wudang Complex located in the central part of South Qinling, has been inferred to be a segment of the Yangtze Craton involved in the orogen. In this study, the cooling/exhumation history of the Wudang Complex is revealed through combined published geochronology data and new apatite fission-track results. Three rapid exhumation episodes related to relevant geodynamic events have been identified. Previous 40Ar–39Ar and (U–Th)/He data indicate that the most significant exhumation, induced by the collision between the North and South China Blocks, occurred from c. 237 to 220 Ma after long-term subsidence and sedimentation of the passive continental margin. The second exhumation event, related to the long-distance effect of the Pacific subduction, occurred during the period from c. 126 to 90 Ma. Following the late Cretaceous – Eocene peneplanation stage, the final late Cenozoic exhumation since c. 15 Ma may be attributed to the combined effect of the eastward growth of the Tibetan Plateau uplift and the Asian monsoon.

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