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The Distribution of Gravitational Potential Energy and its Effect on Active Deformation in Western China

Zhang Jian \ Shi Yaolin (Graduate School,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100039)  
The most active deformation in western China occurs in the Tibetan Plateau. Determining the distribution of gravitational potential energy and its effect on active deformation is fundamental to understanding the dynamics of continental deformation. According to the seisimic velocity and gravity data, we estimated the distribution of gravitational potential energy of Tibetan Plateau . Calculation shows that the gravitational potential energy(PE) is 2×10 12 ~7×10 12 N/m in Tibet Plateau. Its effect on active deformation in Tibetan Plateau was discussed. The computed results show that, given available constraints on rheology, gravitational potential energy are sufficeient to produce the wide variety of rates and styles of observed deformation.
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