The Central Asian Orogen was reactivated in the Cenozoic, which gave rise to mountain systems and sedimentary basins, strike-slip and thrust faults, ramps, and rift basins under the far-field effect of the India–Eurasia collision. Pre-Cenozoic structures, as well as the superposed Cenozoic deformation, are traceable in the gravity pattern. Analysis and correlation of stratigraphic, tectonic, geomorphological, and geophysical (resistivity and gravity) data from Gorny Altai and tectonic modeling on the basis of apatite fission-track thermochronology show that vertical motions have been the most active for the past 5 Ma. The uplift and subsidence produced, respectively, the Chulyshman and Ukok Plateaus with high mountains around and the the Kurai–Chuya basin between them. Gravity data suggest the existence of Late Carboniferous, Jurassic, and Cretaceous rocks found in tectonic wedges around the basin at the base of its sedimentary fill.

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