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Publication Detail
Apatite fission track evidence for Neogene uplift in the eastern Kunlun Mountains, northern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Yuan W, Dong J, Shicheng W, Carter A
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    847, 856
  • Journal:
    Journal of Asian Earth Sciences
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
Forty-one apatite fission track ages (AFT) were determined on samples collected along a N-S section of the eastern Kunlun Mountains across the Middle and South Kunlun Faults between Buqingshan and Dulan. Measured AFT ages lie between 25±2 and 130±10 Ma, and all are significantly younger than their host rock formation or sediment deposition ages. Modelling the AFT data identifies a two stage regional cooling history that spans the last 100 Myrs. The earliest cooling phase occurred between the late Jurassic and early Tertiary and involved a moderate level of cooling between 20 and 40 °C, equivalent to average exhumation rates of =15 m/Myr. The second phase of cooling took place from ∼20 Ma with cooling rates increasing tenfold. Average exhumation rates for this period are estimated to be in the range of ∼100-150 m/Myr. The first stage of protracted cooling is consistent with regional evidence from the Qiantang and Lhasa terrans where previous studies have noted low rates of denudation in relation to a back-arc extensional setting. The more recent acceleration in cooling seen in the Kunlun data coincides with an increase in sedimentation rates in the adjacent Qaidam Basin. This points to a phase of Neogene uplift and increased erosion of the Kunlun Range, although contemporaneous monsoon strengthening may also have had a role. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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