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Structural Analyses and Spatio-Temporal Constraints of Accretionary Orogens

Xiao Wenjiao;Li Jiliang;Song Dongfang;Han Chunming;Wan Bo;Zhang Ji'en;Ao Songjian;Zhang Zhiyong;Xinjiang Research Centerf or Mineral Resources,Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography,Chinese Academy of Sciences;State Key Laboratory of Lithospheric Evolution,Institute of Geology and Geophysics,Chinese Academy of Sciences;College of Earth and Planetary Sciences,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences;  
Accretionary orogens record complicated geological processes during plate convergence,and are characterized by long evolutionary history with multi-stage orogenesis.This paper presents a brief summary and review on the characteristics and complexity of accretionary orogens,and also discusses the methods of analyzing the spatio-temporal evolution of accretionary orogeny.Accretionary orogeny is here defined as a collection of interactions between various types(convergent,transform and divergent) of plate boundaries along a host continental margin with multiple orogenic phases.The forearc region of an accretionary orogen includes accretionary complexes with overlying sedimentary basins such as forearc basin and wedge-top basin,which together constrain the spatio-temporal evolution of accretionary processes.Accretionary orogens are characterized by complicated archipelagic paleogeographic patterns with the development of different types of basins,diverse magmatism,wide accretionary complexes,multiple subduction polarity,multiple terrane accretion,secular evolution and planar accretion.By using the paleomagnetic,paleogeographic,paleontological and paleoclimate data,first-order tectonic units can be deciphered.Based on structural analysis and detailed geological mapping,in combination with material and geochronological analysis,second-order tectonic units can be divided.The lower time limit of accretionary events can be discriminated by defining the youngest components,unconformities,and high-pressure metamorphic events involved in the accretion;while the upper time limit relies on the oldest unconformities which are not involved in the accretion.
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