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Accretionary growth and crust formation in the Central Asian orogenic belt and comparison with the Arabian-Nubian Shield

Alfred Kroener, B. F. Windley, G. Badarch, O. Tomurtogo, E. Hegner, B. M. Jahn, S. Gruschka, E. V. Khain, A. Demoux and Michael T. D. Wingate
Accretionary growth and crust formation in the Central Asian orogenic belt and comparison with the Arabian-Nubian Shield (in 4-D framework of continental crust, Robert D. Hatcher (editor), Marvin P. Carlson (editor), John H. McBride (editor) and Jose R. Martinez Catalan (editor))
Memoir - Geological Society of America (2007) 200: 181-209


The Central Asian Orogenic Belt is one of the largest accretionary terrains on Earth and records a ca. 800 Ma history of arc and microcontinent accretion, from south to north, during evolution and closure of the southwest Pacific-type Paleo-Asian ocean in the period ca. 1020 to ca. 325 Ma. We contest the evolutionary model for the belt proposed by previous authors in terms of a single, long island arc. Accretion of ophiolites, arcs, and Precambrian microcontinents took place in southern Siberia in late Neoproterozoic to Cambrian times. Ultrahigh-pressure subduction and metamorphism occurred in the Cambrian at Kokchetav, Kazakhstan, and high-pressure metamorphism took place in the Gorny Altai, together with arc-ward accretion of a seamount. In the Chinese Altai, Precambrian microcontinents and island arcs collided into the accreting margin. Overall the Central Asian Orogenic Belt records the formation of small forearc and backarc ocean basins that probably evolved between island arcs and microcontinents and were closed during continuous accretion between the Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic. During this time the southward-growing southern margin of the Siberian craton always faced an open ocean. Final closure of the Paleo-Asian ocean probably occurred in the late Permian when the North China craton was attached to the orogenic belt. Large volumes of felsic volcanic rocks and the presence of Precambrian zircon xenocrysts as well as ancient detrital zircons in arc-derived sediments suggest substantial reworking of old crust despite seemingly primitive Nd isotopic characteristics. Similar characteristics in arc terranes of the Arabian-Nubian shield in Saudi Arabia suggest that previously proposed anomalously high crust-formation rates in both the Central Asian Orogenic Belt and Arabian-Nubian shield require revision.

ISSN: 0072-1069
Serial Title: Memoir - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 200
Title: Accretionary growth and crust formation in the Central Asian orogenic belt and comparison with the Arabian-Nubian Shield
Title: 4-D framework of continental crust
Author(s): Kroener, AlfredWindley, B. F.Badarch, G.Tomurtogo, O.Hegner, E.Jahn, B. M.Gruschka, S.Khain, E. V.Demoux, A.Wingate, Michael T. D.
Author(s): Hatcher, Robert D., Jr.editor
Author(s): Carlson, Marvin P.editor
Author(s): McBride, John H.editor
Author(s): Martinez Catalan, Jose R.editor
Affiliation: Universitaet Mainz, Institut fuer Geowissenschaften, Mainz, Federal Republic of Germany
Affiliation: University of Tennessee, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Knoxville, TN, United States
Pages: 181-209
Published: 2007
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 978-0-8137-1200-0
Meeting name: 17th international basement tectonics conference
Meeting location: Oak Ridge, TN, USA, United States
Meeting date: 20040627June 27-July 1, 2004
References: 108
Accession Number: 2008-064091
Categories: Solid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 5 tables, geol. sketch maps
N44°00'00" - N46°00'00", E96°00'00" - E99°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Nebraska Geological Survey, USA, United StatesBrigham Young University, USA, United StatesUniversidad de Salamanca, ESP, SpainUniversity of Leicester, GBR, United KingdomInstitute of Geology and Mineral Resources, MNG, MongoliaUniversitaet Muenchen, DEU, Federal Republic of GermanyAcademia Sinica, TWN, TaiwanGeological Institute, RUS, Russian FederationUniversity of Western Australia, AUS, Australia
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 200815
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