The evolution of South China involved accretion-collision of multiple terranes from the Proterozoic to the Mesozoic. Zircon U-Pb ages, Hf data, and structural data indicate that the Cathaysia block consists of two terranes, West Cathaysia and East Cathaysia, separated by a newly recognized major strike-slip fault. We propose that West Cathaysia was part of a microcontinent that originated from a Grenvillian-aged orogen in the Rodinia supercontinent, East Cathaysia originated from an Indosinian-aged orogen in the Paleo-Tethyan regime to the south and was translated to the east of West Cathaysia through strike-slip motion, and the early Paleozoic Wuyi-Yunkai orogeny was a result of direct collision of West Cathaysia with a yet-unidentified terrane that rifted away after the collision. We conclude that a multiterrane Wilson cycle (multi-terrane accretion-collision, large-scale strike-slip motion, and separation of two terranes by post-collisional rifting along the suture zone) characterizes the history of South China and may be a common feature of orogens.
Appalachian-style multi-terrane Wilson cycle model for the assembly of South China
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Shoufa Lin, Guangfu Xing, Donald W. Davis, Changqing Yin, Meiling Wu, Longming Li, Yang Jiang, Zhihong Chen; Appalachian-style multi-terrane Wilson cycle model for the assembly of South China. Geology doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/G39806.1
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