Abstract

Dating morphological features displaced along active faults presents a major difficulty in evaluation of slip rates. We used in-situ–produced 10 Be to calculate minimum ages for alluvial surfaces misaligned by movement along a major active fault in the Gobi-Altaï (western Mongolia). The maximum slip rate of ≈1.2 mm/yr suggested by this method contrasts strongly with rates of ≈20 mm/yr that we estimated by correlation of alluvial deposition with warm humid periods associated with the last glacial termination estimated to have occurred about 12 ka in western Tibet. The 10Be-based slip rate indicates that strong earthquakes can occur along faults with low slip rates and demonstrates the contribution of cosmic-ray–exposure dating in Quaternary tectonic analyses.

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