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《Acta Geologica Sinica》 2005-06
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A Coupling Model of Rigid-block Movement and Continuous Deformation: Patterns of the Present-day Deformation of China's Continent and Its Vicinity

ZHANG Peizhen, GAN Weijun, SHEN Zhengkang, WANG MinState Key Laboratory of Earthquake Dynamics, Institute of Geology, China Seismological Bureau, Beijing, 100029, China  
One of the critical questions about continental dynamics is whether the preliminary assumption of rigid plate rotation is applicable to the continental lithosphere that possesses a long history of geological evolution. Different theoretical models give diverse answers that are difficult to test due to the lack of coherent and reliable kinematical constraints. In this paper, we study kinematical patterns of present-day tectonic deformation (or crustal movement) of China's continent and its vicinity on the basis of 1350 Global Positioning System measurements in combination with active faults and seismic activity studies. The present-day tectonic deformation of China's continental is characterized by the coupling of rigid block movement and continuous deformation. For example, the Tarim basin, the Ordors block and the South China block behave as coherent blocks similar to the oceanic rigid block without internal deformation, whereas the Tibetan Plateau and the Tianshan Mountains seem to deform continuously with significant internal deformation. Mechanical and rheological properties of the lithosphere indicate a style of regional deformation. Regions of high rigidity feature rigid block-like movements, while those of low rigidity are characterized dominated by continuous deformation. Rheological flows in the lower crust and upper mantle play an important role in controlling deformation of the upper crust. The present-day tectonic deformation of China' continent can be described in terms of a coupling model of rigid block movement and continuous deformation.
【Fund】: 国家自然科学基金"青藏高原东北缘晚生代构造变形与形成过程"(编号40234040)资助的成果。
【CateGory Index】: P542
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