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Tectonics of the Middle Triassic intracontinental Xuefengshan Belt, South China: new insights from structural and chronological constraints on the basal décollement zone

Abstract : In orogenic belts, a basal de'collement zone often develops at depth to accommodate the shortening due to folding and thrusting of the sedimentary cover. In the Early Mesozoic intracontinental Xuefengshan Belt of South China, such a de'collement zone is exposed in the core of anticlines formed by the emplacement of the late-orogenic granitic plutons. Our detailed, multi-scale structural analysis documents a synmetamorphic ductile deformation. In the basal de'collement, the Neoproterozoic pelite and sandstone, and the intruding Early Paleozoic granites were deformed and metamorphosed into mylonites and orthogneiss, respectively. The metamorphic foliation contains a NW-SE stretching lineation associated with top-to-the-NW kinematic indicators. The ductile shearing of these high-strained rocks can be correlated with NW-verging folds and thrusts recognized in the Neoproterozoic to Early Triassic sedimentary cover. Monazite U-Th-Pbtot chemical dating, and zircon SIMS U-Pb dating provide age constraints of the ductile shearing between 243 and 226 Ma, and late-orogenic granite emplacement around 235-215 Ma. In agreement with recent geochronological data, these new results show that the Xuefengshan Belt is an Early Mesozoic orogen dominated by the NW-directed shearing and thrusting. At the southeastern boundary of the Xuefengshan Belt, the Chenzhou-Linwu fault separates the Early Mesozoic domain to the NW from the Early Paleozoic domain to the SE. The tectonic architecture of this belt was possibly originated fromthe continental underthrusting to the SE of the South China block in response to northwestdirected subduction of the Paleo-Pacific plate.
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Yang Chu, Michel Faure, Wei Lin, Qingchen Wang, Wenbin Ji. Tectonics of the Middle Triassic intracontinental Xuefengshan Belt, South China: new insights from structural and chronological constraints on the basal décollement zone. International Journal of Earth Sciences, Springer Verlag, 2012, 101 (8), pp.2125-2150. ⟨10.1007/s00531-012-0780-5⟩. ⟨insu-00712461⟩

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