A broadband seismic deployment in 1998–1999 in southwestern Tarim provided data for imaging the crust and upper mantle across the contact between the Tarim block and the Tibetan Plateau. A profile composed of migrated teleseismic receiver functions clearly shows lateral structural changes. The crust under the Tarim basin is relatively simple. The Moho discontinuity is mapped at a depth of 42 km near the northern end of the array and dips gently toward the south to ∼50 km under the Kunlun foreland. The Tarim basin appears to be rigid, with little shortening. Farther to the south, the imaging reveals a complex of reflectors in the lower crust and the upper mantle. There are both north- and south-dipping upper mantle structures under the Kunlun foreland and Kunlun Shan region. We found the observations to be more consistent with a model of lithospheric collision in which the crust and the upper mantle on both sides interpenetrate and deform.

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