Neogene magnetostratigraphy and rock magnetic study of the Kashi Depression, NW China: significance for Neotectonic deformation in SW Tianshan Mountains

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Baochun Huang, Peking University, School of Earth and Space Sciences, Beijing, China and Qingqing Qiao, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xinjiang Research Center for Mineral Resources, Urumqi, China
The Chinese Southwest Tianshan Mountains lies in the actively deforming part of the India-Asia collision system. To better understand its sedimentation, denudation, and mountain building history; we conduct a detailed magnetostratigraphic study on the Dashankou section in the Kashi Depression of the Tarim Basin. Paleomagnetic samples were collected from 985 sites of a 3187m-thick section from the exposed Neogene sediments. Magnetostratigraphy is correlating with polarity chrons C5r.3r to C2An.1n dated between ~12.4 and ~3.0 Ma on the GTS2012 geomagnetic polarity time scale. The substantial increase in accumulation rate in the Dashankou section at ~6.7 Ma may be the signature of a pulse of rapid uplift comparable to that observed in the northern Chinese Tianshan Mountains. We argue that climatic changes may have modulated the sedimentary record during the Neogene times, but they don’t appear to be a dominant control on sediment accumulation between ~7.0 and ~2.58 Ma. On the other hand, the basal age of the Xiyu Conglomerates studied here is ~3.2 Ma, and the accumulation rate of the Late Pliocene conglomerates was mostly controlled by both tectonics and climatic cooling. Our results indicate that the present high relief of the Tianshan Mountains is the result of dominant phases of uplift at ~6.7 Ma and the Early Pleistocene.