Abstract

We have obtained a Late Permian paleomagnetic pole from dikes in the Tarim craton of China. Directions of magnetization from 21 mafic and ultramafic dikes at three localities pass a fold test at the 95% confidence level. The new paleomagnetic pole lies at lat 66°N, long 181° E; N = 21, K = 61, and α95 = 3.9°. On the basis of a comparison with paleomagnetic data from adjacent tectonic units, we conclude that (1) the Late Permian paleolatitude of the Tarim craton differs from that of the Sino-Korean craton, suggesting that the two cratons were distinct tectonic units in Late Permian time; (2) there was relative motion between the Tarim craton and the Siberian craton after Late Permian time; and (3) negligible relative motions have occured between different thrust sheets in the Keping-Bachu area of the north-western Tarim craton.

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