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Deep-seated lithospheric geometry in revealing collapse of the Tibetan Plateau
Guo, XY (Guo, Xiaoyu)1; Gao, R (Gao, Rui)1,2; Zhao, JM (Zhao, Junmeng)3; Xu, X (Xu, Xiao)1; Lu, ZW (Lu, Zhanwu)2; Klemperer, SL (Klemperer, Simon L.)4; Liu, HB (Liu, Hongbing)3

The Tibetan Plateau's enigmatic collapse, which was indicated based on extensional faulting in the interior of the plateau and large eastward-directed strike-slip faults, has inspired intensive geologic inquiry and debate. Interaction of the subducting Indian plate with the overlying Asian lithosphere is one factor that may be affecting the plateau. A more detailed image of the subducting Indian plate can help constrain its role, but regional high-resolution seismic data have not been widely available at a relevant scale. Here we present an integrated interpretation based on two types of seismic datasets: (1) two N-S oriented deep seismic-reflection profiles that cross the Yarlung-Zangbo suture, and (2) two E-W receiver function profiles that cross the Xainza-Dingjye and Nyima-Tingri rifts, respectively. These images reveal different crustal-scale structures in the dominant collision zone between the western and central regions, as well as distinctly offset Moho discontinuities across the N-S trending rift grabens in southern Tibet. These crustal variations, combined with previous tomographic studies in Tibet, outline an easterly tilt of the subducting Indian slab, along which crust-mantle decoupling occurred. Together with the spatio-temporal distribution of synchronous potassium-rich volcanics exposed within the grabens in southern Tibet, this offset Moho structure beneath the grabens lends support to the hypothesis that eastward steepening of the subducting Indian slab was accompanied by slab tearing beneath each north-south striking rift. This overall crustal geometric variation suggests a stepwise flattening of the torn Indian slab from west to the east, a process that brought easterly migration of gravitational instability to the overriding Tibetan crust that drove collapse of the Tibetan Plateau once gravitational instability reached a critical level to the east.

Subject Area地质学
WOS IDWOS:000448493500034
Indexed BySCIE
KeywordYarlung-zangbo Suture India-asia Collision East-west Extension Yadong-gulu Rift Southern Tibet Yungbwa Ophiolite Isotopic Characteristics Ultrapotassic Rocks Oblique Convergence Garhwal Himalaya
WOS Research AreaGeology
WOS SubjectGeosciences, Multidisciplinary
Cooperation Status国际
Citation statistics
Document Type期刊论文
Corresponding AuthorZhao, JM (Zhao, Junmeng)
Affiliation1.Sun Yat Sen Univ, Sch Earth Sci & Engn, Guangzhou 510275, Guangdong, Peoples R China;
2.Chinese Acad Geol Sci, Inst Geol, Beijing 100037, Peoples R China;
3.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Tibetan Plateau Res, Beijing 100029, Peoples R China;
4.Stanford Univ, Dept Geophys, Stanford, CA 94305 USA.
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Guo, XY ,Gao, R ,Zhao, JM ,et al. Deep-seated lithospheric geometry in revealing collapse of the Tibetan Plateau[J]. EARTH-SCIENCE REVIEWS,2018,185(0):751-762.
APA Guo, XY .,Gao, R .,Zhao, JM .,Xu, X .,Lu, ZW .,...&Liu, HB .(2018).Deep-seated lithospheric geometry in revealing collapse of the Tibetan Plateau.EARTH-SCIENCE REVIEWS,185(0),751-762.
MLA Guo, XY ,et al."Deep-seated lithospheric geometry in revealing collapse of the Tibetan Plateau".EARTH-SCIENCE REVIEWS 185.0(2018):751-762.
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