The northwest-trending Altai Mountains of central Asia expose a complex network of thrust and strike-slip faults that are key features accommodating intracontinental crustal shortening related to the Cenozoic India-Asia collision. In this study, we investigated the Quaternary slip history of the Fuyun fault, a right-lateral strike-slip fault bounding the southwestern margin of the Altai Mountains, through geologic mapping, geomorphic surveying, and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) geochronology. At the Kuoyibagaer site, the Fuyun fault displaces three generations of Pleistocene–Holocene fill-cut river terraces (i.e., T3, T2, and T1) containing landslide and debris-flow deposits. The right-lateral offsets are magnified by erosion of terrace risers, suggesting that river course migration has been faster than slip along the Fuyun fault. The highest Tp2 terrace was abandoned in the middle Pleistocene (150.4 ± 8.1 ka uppermost OSL age) and was displaced 145.5 +45.6/–12.1 m along the Fuyun fault, yielding a slip rate of 1.0 +0.4/–0.1 mm/yr since the middle Pleistocene. The lower Tp1 terrace was abandoned in the late Pleistocene and aggraded by landslides and debris flows in the latest Pleistocene–Holocene (36.7 ± 1.6 ka uppermost OSL age). Tp1 was displaced 67.5 +14.2/–6.1 m along the Fuyun fault, yielding a slip rate of 1.8 +0.5/–0.2 mm/yr since the late Pleistocene. Our preferred minimum slip rate of ~1 mm/yr suggests the Fuyun fault accommodates ~16% of the average geodetic velocity of ~6 mm/yr across the Altai Mountains. Integration of our new Fuyun slip rate with other published fault slip rates accounts for ~4.2 mm/yr of convergence across the Chinese Altai, or ~70% of the geodetic velocity field.

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