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《Earth Science-Journal of China University of Geosciences》 1981-01
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Geotectonic Units of China from the View-point of Mobilism

Wang Hong-zhen ( H.C.Wang )  
This paper endeavours to interpret the geotectonic development of China form the view-point of mobilism.The concept of mobilism implies recognition of move ments of crustal parts relative to the rotation axis and relative to each other It differs from the Plate Tectonics Theory in ascribing greater mobility to the continental and oceanic crust than is permissible in the early concept of a mosaic of highly rigid plates with narrow margins. Geotectonic units may be recognized through historical analysis mainly in the scope of stratigraphy and palaeobiogeography. About 30 sedimentation associations of different tectonic setting grouped into 6 sedimentation types,the mobile , the transitional and the stable, both continental and marine, may be distinguished.In regard to biogeography, 4 realms, the Siberian Arctic,the Tethyan, the Gondwa-nic and the Australian-Pacific are discerned in China, which may be further subdivided into provinces according to the overall ecological character of the sedimentary basins.As continents are often separated by ocean basins as effective barri-riers, faunal provinces may also be discerned within one realm according as they are akin to shallow seas bordering different continents, and this difference mayoften be used to indicate the already consummed ocean basins between the continents. Palaeobiogeographic provinces of China from Cambrian to Triassic are discussed (table 1-6) and partly illustrated (fig. 3-4). On the geotectonic outline map of China(fig.7), 3 kinds of structural elements of tectonic significance are shown. They are, in diminishing importance, 1 ) the converging crustal consumption zones between two opposite continental marginal domains and the crustal consumption zones within one continental marginal domain; 2) the transcurrent faults of great horozontal displacement and 3)the aula-cogens or rifts within the comparatively stable units. The age of their formation is also indicated. In this context, there may be distinguished 3 kinds of major geotectonic units, 1) the continental (platform) domain with Precambrian basement, including the Archaean nuclei, the Proterozoic massifs and folded zones; 2) the inte rcontinental domain consisting of median massifs of Precambrian age and various folded zones younger than the Precambrian, which are separated inbteween by converging crustal consumption zones, and 3 ) the continental marginal domain open to an oceanic basin. There are altogether 5 domains in China, the Northern Inteicontinental, the Northern Continental, the Southern Intercontinental,the Southern(Gondwana)Contincntal and the Eastern Continental Marginal. The intercontinental domains are both separated by converging consumption zones,the Silamulun-North Tianshan in the north, closed in the Hercy-nian,and the Bangonghu Nujiang in the south, closed in the Yenshanian stage.A third minor converging consumption zone is the Qinling Qinghai Nanshan,which separates the Sino-Korean and the Yangtze platforms and was closed in the Indosinian stage.Figure 8 shows the present structure and possible development of the complex intercontinental terrain from Alashan in the north to Bayankela in the south, and figure 9 , the well developed free continental marginal doma in in Southeast China, which has kept ever opsn to the Pacific oceanic basin. Finally,the seemingly contradiction in the direction of movement as indicated by the surface structure and by the palaeomagnetic data may be interpreted as caused by different polarity of movements along sliding surfaces of different depths. Large scale displacement effected between the continents and resulted from gliding of the lithospheric plates on the asthenosphere do not necessarily coincide and are often inconsistent in direction with structural features, such as thrusts and folds, of much shallower origin.
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