Tectonics of the Qinling Belt: build-up and evolution of eastern Asia

Abstract

The structure and history of the Qinling range, which separates the North and South China cratons, are a key to the tectonic evolution of eastern Asia. The mountain range is composed of a northern Palaeozoic belt and a southern Mesozoic belt. The Palaeozoic orogeny probably involved the closure of an oceanic basin along a north-dipping subduction zone, followed by south-vergent obduction of ophiolites and intracontinental thrusting during the Devonian. The Mesozoic belt appears to be the product of purely intracontinental, shallow crustal deformation over a large decollement with at least 100 km of horizontal transport. Since the Devonian, both belts have been sliced by huge east–west sinistral strike-slip faults.

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Mattauer, M., Matte, P., Malavieille, J. et al. Tectonics of the Qinling Belt: build-up and evolution of eastern Asia. Nature 317, 496–500 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1038/317496a0

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