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Formation of the First Bend in the late Eocene gave birth to the modern Yangtze River, China

Zheng Hongbo, Peter D. Clift, He Mengying, Bian Zixuan, Liu Gaozheng, Liu Xiaochun, Xia Lei, Yang Qing and Fred Jourdan
Formation of the First Bend in the late Eocene gave birth to the modern Yangtze River, China
Geology (Boulder) (August 2020) 49 (1): 35-39


The First Bend on the Yangtze River (China), the point where the river ceases flowing toward the south and heads toward the northeast, has been one of the most strongly debated geomorphic features in Asia because it holds the key to understanding the history of the Yangtze River and is linked to the tectonically driven surface uplift of the southeastern Tibetan Plateau. Mid- to upper Eocene sedimentary rocks preserved in the Jianchuan Basin located immediately southwest of the First Bend demonstrate that a large river system, presumably the paleo-Jinshajiang River (the upper Yangtze), used to flow south through that region. Provenance analysis of sediments over the wider region, based mostly on U-Pb dating of detrital zircon grains, confirms that the once south-flowing paleo-Yangtze River originated in the Tibetan Plateau and flowed into the South China Sea. Inversion of the Jianchuan Basin, starting in or after the latest Eocene and associated with wider plateau surface uplift at that time, caused the river to be diverted toward the northeast where it was confined along tectonic lineaments associated with strike-slip faulting, giving birth to the First Bend, a major step in the formation of the modern Yangtze River.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 49
Serial Issue: 1
Title: Formation of the First Bend in the late Eocene gave birth to the modern Yangtze River, China
Affiliation: Yunnan University, Yunnan Key Laboratory of Earth System Science, Kunming, China
Pages: 35-39
Published: 20200825
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 24
Accession Number: 2021-004952
Categories: Geomorphology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch maps, strat. col.
N26°00'00" - N27°30'00", E99°25'00" - E100°30'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Nanjing Normal University, CHN, ChinaCurtin University, AUS, Australia
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2021, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 202104
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