Structural and kinematic evolution of strike-slip shear zones around and in the Central Tianshan: insights for eastward tectonic wedging in the southwest Central Asian Orogenic Belt - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Structural Geology Year : 2021

Structural and kinematic evolution of strike-slip shear zones around and in the Central Tianshan: insights for eastward tectonic wedging in the southwest Central Asian Orogenic Belt

Abstract

In order to better understand the late Paleozoic tectonic evolution of the southwestern Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB), we carried out structural and geochronological studies on the poorly investigated Xiaergou and Wulasitai shear zones around and in the Chinese Central Tianshan. The Xiaergou shear zone is the connecting segment between the North Tianshan Fault and Main Tianshan Shear Zone along the northern margin of the Yili - Central Tianshan blocks, it strikes NW-SE with a width of ∼3-5 km and shows predominant dextral kinematics. Zircon U-Pb ages of pre- and syn-kinematic granitic dykes within the Xiaergou shear zone indicate that the dextral shearing was active at ∼312-295 Ma. The Wulasitai shear zone is a high-strain belt occurring in the interior of the Central Tianshan block, it extends NW-SE for more than 40 km with variable widths of ∼1-5 km, steep mylonitic foliations and sub-horizontal stretching lineation are well developed and various kinematic indicators suggest prevailing sinistral shearing. New biotite 40Ar/39Ar ages of two meta-sedimentary rocks, together with the published metamorphic zircon ages constrain the timing of the sinistral shearing at ∼312-301 Ma. Our new results combined with the previous studies reveal that the dextral strike-slip shear zones framing the Central Tianshan formed almost simultaneously in the latest Carboniferous (∼310 Ma) and lasted until the middle to late Permian. They resulted from the eastward tectonic wedging and relative rotations between continental blocks in the SW CAOB. The sinistral shearing of the Wulasitai shear zone within the Central Tianshan was likely generated due to differential eastward motions of the northern and southern parts of the Central Tianshan.
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insu-03105432 , version 1 (11-01-2021)

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Zhiyuan He, Bo Wang, Xinghua Ni, Johan de Grave, Stéphane Scaillet, et al.. Structural and kinematic evolution of strike-slip shear zones around and in the Central Tianshan: insights for eastward tectonic wedging in the southwest Central Asian Orogenic Belt. Journal of Structural Geology, 2021, 144, pp.104279. ⟨10.1016/j.jsg.2021.104279⟩. ⟨insu-03105432⟩
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