Cretaceous-Cenozoic basins developed in the NE Tibetan Plateau contain key archives to unravel the growth history of the plateau in response to the India-Eurasia collision. Here we present magnetostratigraphic results of a Late Cretaceous to Paleogene succession of the Zhongba section outcropping at the southern margin of the eastern Xining basin. This succession consists of three lithological units punctuated by two stratigraphic unconformities, which best recorded the deformation history of this foreland basin. Detailed magnetostratigraphic investigation show that the lower terrestrial sedimentary rock unit, the Minhe Group, was deposited in latest Cretaceous in the time span of ca. 74.5−69.2 Ma; the middle unit was deposited in Paleogene in the time span of ca. 49.3−22 Ma; and the upper conglomeratic unit, not dated, possibly was deposited in early Miocene. Accordingly, the Cretaceous−Paleogene unconformity, widely observed in the foreland basins of NE Tibet, represents a sedimentary hiatus duration of ∼19.9 m.y., from ca. 69.2 Ma to ca. 49.3 Ma, which possibly recorded the far-field response to the tectonic transition from Neo-Tethys oceanic plate subduction to the India-Eurasia collision in southern Tibet. Changes in provenance, sedimentary accumulation rate, and mean susceptibility value at ca. 33−30 Ma, and the total prolate anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) ellipsoids and provenance shifting since ca. 23−19 Ma, point to the pulsed growth of West Qinling, and rapid uplift of Laji Shan, respectively, indicating an enhanced effect of the India-Eurasia collision in Oligocene and early Miocene. AMS results show a clockwise rotation of the shortening direction from NEN-SWS in latest Cretaceous to NE-SW in Paleogene.

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