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Tertiary diachronic extrusion and deformation of western Indochina: Structural and 40Ar/39Ar evidence from NW Thailand

Abstract : The Wang Chao and Three Pagodas fault zones cut the western part of the Indochina block and run parallel to the Red River Fault. Evidence of intense ductile left‐lateral shear is found in the Lansang gneisses, which form a 5 km wide elongated core along the Wang Chao fault zone. Dating by 40Ar/39Ar shows that such deformation probably terminated around 30.5 Ma. The Wang Chao and Three Pagodas faults offset the north striking lower Mesozoic metamorphic and magmatic belt of northern Thailand. 40Ar/39Ar results suggest that this belt suffered rapid cooling in the Tertiary, probably around 23 Ma. These results imply that the extrusion of the southwestern part of Indochina occurred in the upper Eocene‐lower Oligocene. It probably induced rifting in some basins of the Gulf of Thailand and in the Malay and Mekong basins. In the Oligo‐Miocene, the continuing penetration of India into Asia culminated with the extrusion of all of Indochina along the Ailao Shan‐Red River fault. This occurred concurrently with the onset of E‐W extension more to the south. Plotting in a geographical reference frame the diachronic time spans of movement on left‐lateral faults east and southeast of Tibet implies that the northward movement of the Indian indenter successively initiated new strike‐slip faults located farther and farther north along its path.
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Robin Lacassin, Henri Maluski, P Leloup, Paul Tapponnier, Chaiyan Hinthong, et al.. Tertiary diachronic extrusion and deformation of western Indochina: Structural and 40Ar/39Ar evidence from NW Thailand. Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth, American Geophysical Union, 1997, 102 (B5), pp.13 - 23. ⟨10.1029/96JB03831⟩. ⟨insu-01891307⟩

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