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Type: Journal article
Title: On the role of dual active margin collision for exhuming the world's largest ultrahigh pressure metamorphic belt
Author: Wang, L.
Kusky, T.
Santosh, M.
Citation: Journal of Earth Science, 2012; 23(6):802-812
Publisher: China University of Geosciences
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1674-487X
Statement of
Lu Wang, Timothy M. Kusky, M. Santosh
Abstract: A wide variety of tectonic models have been invoked to explain the exhumation of the world’s largest ultrahigh pressure (UHP) orogenic belt, the Qinling (秦岭)-Dabieshan (大别山)-Sulu (苏鲁) belt in China, and its correlatives in Korea. Most of these models assume that the orogen contains one main collisional suture between the North and South China cratons that collided in the Mesozoic. New field data reveal that this model is too simplistic, and that the collision involved an additional microplate, which initially rifted off the Yangtze craton. This continental microplate was partially subducted beneath an active margin on the North China craton, and subsequently an additional active Andean-style margin developed on the southern margin of the Qinling microplate after collision, leaving the near-vertical microplate wedged between the two thickened and thermally softened margins. The thermo-mechanical environment of collision thus left a cold, thick, and buoyant microplate wedged between two easily deformed margins, which acted as power-law creep channels, accommodating rapid buoyancy-driven rise of a 2 000 km long wedge of the subducted microplate, which became intimately involved with the collisional process. An additional segment of the northern Yangtze craton was subducted to >100 km, and formed a separate wedge that rose alongside the thermally softened margin of the Qinling microcontinent, and was bordered on the south by the recently thermally-softened rift zone where the Qinling microcontinent broke off the Yangtze craton between Late Devonian and Permian times. Recognizing the dual active margins in Qinling-Dabieshan-Sulu orogen and the thermally-softened power-law creep channels sheds new light on understanding exhumation of the world’s largest ultrahigh pressure belt. We propose that this model is generally applicable to other UHP belts worldwide.
Keywords: Ultrahigh-pressure metamorphic belt; plate; tectonics; subduction; collision; exhumation; Qinling-Dabieshan-Sulu belt
Rights: Copyright © 2012, China University of Geosciences and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
DOI: 10.1007/s12583-012-0292-z
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Geology & Geophysics publications

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