The Qinghai-Tibet plateau and continental dynamics: A review on terrain tectonics, collisional orogenesis, and processes and mechanisms for the rise of the plateau
XU Zhi-qin, YANG Jing-sui, LI Hai-bing, ZHANG Jian-xin, ZENG Ling-sen, JIANG Mei (Key Laboratory for Continental Dynamics, MLR, Institute of Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Beijing 100037, China)
Recent studies on the compositions and structures of multiple terrains within the Qinghai-Tibet plateau have offered us an opportunity to examine how this plateau was assembled in the context of terrain tectonics. The formation of this plateau resulted from long-term tectonic activities since the late Paleozoic which is represented by (1) convergence and welding of a number of exotic terrains, and (2) collision induced " orogenic plateaux" and has reached its climax in the Cenozoic. Large-scale strike-slip faults (commonly act as terrain boundary faults) has played a central role in controlling the relative offset, magnitude of lateral extrusion, and the geometry of these terrains. The final assembly and rise of the Qinghai-Tibet plateau may result from a combination of contemporaneous processes, e.g. super-deep subduction (600 km) at its southern margin, intra-continental subduction at its northern margin, in-land deep thermal processes, and NE-trending right-lateral uplift of mantle lithosphere.