The relationship between the North and South China blocks, particularly their spatial-temporal framework and evolutionary history, has been widely debated. We conducted a comprehensive study of the structural geometry and kinematics of the thrust belts in the intersection zone between the Dabashan and eastern Sichuan Basin based on seismic data, drilling data, field investigation data, and zircon and apatite (U-Th)/He thermochronology data. These data sets provide important insights into the relationship between the North and South China blocks during the post-orogenic process. Due to the detachments, the strata of the eastern Sichuan Basin can be divided into four structural intervals characterized by duplex structures and fault-related fold structures. Balanced restoration indicates the vertical differences are represented by the shortening ratio of the upper structural interval of ∼6%, that of the middle ∼10%, and that of the lower ∼7%. Besides, the shortening ratios indicate an increasing tendency of the deformation intensity from the west to the east. The (U-Th)/He dating results suggest two age ranges, i.e., from 180 Ma to 130 Ma and from 50 Ma to 20 Ma, respectively. These age data sets also imply a younger tendency westward. The intersection zone may have experienced the following stages since the late Mesozoic era: (1) the stable continental sedimentation stage from the Late Triassic to the Late Jurassic epochs; (2) the continuous thrust stage from the Late Jurassic to the early Paleogene epochs, which is associated with the subduction of the Paleo-Pacific Ocean; and (3) the uplift and denudation stage as a whole caused by the uplift of the Tibetan Plateau since the Paleogene period.
Structural geometry and kinematics of thrust belts between the Dabashan and eastern Sichuan Basin, South China block: Constraints from (U-Th)/He dating and seismic data
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Guo Lu, Chuanxin Li, Wenzheng Li, Shang Deng, Jianyong Zhang; Structural geometry and kinematics of thrust belts between the Dabashan and eastern Sichuan Basin, South China block: Constraints from (U-Th)/He dating and seismic data. GSA Bulletin 2021; doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/B35781.1
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