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Triassic tectonics of the Ailaoshan Belt (SW China): Early Triassic collision between the South China and Indochina Blocks, and Middle Triassic intracontinental shearing

Abstract : In SE Yunnan, the Ailaoshan Belt has been extensively studied for the ductile shearing coeval with the left-lateral Cenozoic activity of the Red River fault. However, the Late Triassic unconformity of the continental red beds upon metamorphic and ductilely deformed rocks demonstrates that the Ailaoshan Belt was already built up by Early Mesozoic tectonics. From West to East, the belt is subdivided into Western, Central, Eastern Ailaoshan, and Jinping zones. The Western Ailaoshan and Central Ailaoshan zones correspond to a Carboniferous–Permian magmatic arc, and an ophiolitic mélange, respectively. The Eastern Ailaoshan, and the Jinping zones consist of deformed Proterozoic basement and Paleozoic to Early Triassic sedimentary cover series both belonging to the South China Block. This litho-tectonic zonation indicates that the Ailaoshan Belt developed through a SW-directed subduction followed by the collision between Indochina and South China blocks. Crustal thickening triggered per-aluminous magmatism dated at ca 247–240 Ma. Field and microscope-scale top-to-the-NE ductile shearing observed only in the pre-Late Triassic formations, but never in Late Triassic or younger formations, complies with this geodynamic polarity. Furthermore, the late collisional two-mica granitoids and felsic per-aluminous volcanites record a ductile deformation that argues for a continuing crustal shearing deformation after the Early Triassic collision up to the Middle Triassic. Therefore, a two-stage tectonic evolution accounts well for the documented structural and magmatic features. The Triassic architecture of the Ailaoshan Belt, and its geodynamic evolution, correlate well to the South and North with the North Vietnam orogens and the Jinshajiang Belt, respectively.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 5, 2016 - 5:41:57 PM
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Michel Faure, Wei Lin, Yang Chu, Claude Lepvrier. Triassic tectonics of the Ailaoshan Belt (SW China): Early Triassic collision between the South China and Indochina Blocks, and Middle Triassic intracontinental shearing. Tectonophysics, Elsevier, 2016, 683, pp. 27-42. ⟨10.1016/j.tecto.2016.06.015⟩. ⟨insu-01342341⟩

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