Northern Lhasa thrust belt of central Tibet: Evidence of Cretaceous-early Cenozoic shortening within a passive roof thrust system?

John E. Volkmer, Paul Kapp, Brian K. Horton, George E. Gehrels, Joseph M. Minervini, Lin Ding

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Lhasa and Qiangtang terranes of Tibet collided following Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous consumption of oceanic lithosphere along the intervening Bangong suture zone. This continental collision led to the development of the south-directed, northern Lhasa thrust belt that is exposed ∼1200 km along strike in central Tibet. We conducted geologic mapping and stratigraphic and geothermochronologic studies in the Duba region of the northern Lhasa terrane, located ∼250 km northwest of the city of Lhasa. In the Duba region, granites were emplaced into the mid-crust between 139 and 121 Ma and subsequently exhumed and juxtaposed against Cretaceous strata between 105 and 90 Ma in the footwall of an interpreted passive roof thrust system. We suggest that this structural style dominates the Cretaceous-early Cenozoic evolution of the northern Lhasa thrust belt and provides an explanation for the scarcity of basement rock exposures in the Lhasa terrane despite >50% upper crustal shortening. Furthermore, we highlight similarities between the collision-related northern Lhasa and Tethyan Himalayan thrust belts, both of which are bound by sutures and associated with underthrusting of lower plate lithosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationToward an Improved Understanding of Uplift Mechanisms and the Elevation History of the Tibetan Plateau
EditorsGregory Hoke, Junsheng Nie, Brian Horton
PublisherGeological Society of America
Pages59-70
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780813725079
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Publication series

NameSpecial Paper of the Geological Society of America
Volume507
ISSN (Print)0072-1077

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

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    Volkmer, J. E., Kapp, P., Horton, B. K., Gehrels, G. E., Minervini, J. M., & Ding, L. (2014). Northern Lhasa thrust belt of central Tibet: Evidence of Cretaceous-early Cenozoic shortening within a passive roof thrust system? In G. Hoke, J. Nie, & B. Horton (Eds.), Toward an Improved Understanding of Uplift Mechanisms and the Elevation History of the Tibetan Plateau (pp. 59-70). (Special Paper of the Geological Society of America; Vol. 507). Geological Society of America. https://doi.org/10.1130/2014.2507(03)