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Denudation outpaced by crustal thickening in the eastern Tianshan

Charreau, Julien and Saint-Carlier, Dimitri and Dominguez, Stéphane and Lave, Jérôme and Blard, Pierre-Henri and Avouac, Jean-Philippe and Jolivet, Marc and Chen, Yan and Wang, ShengLi and Brown, Nathan David and Malatesta, Luca Claude and Rhodes, Edward (2017) Denudation outpaced by crustal thickening in the eastern Tianshan. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 479 . pp. 179-191. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2017.09.025.

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The modern high topography of the Tianshan resulted from the reactivation of a Paleozoic orogenic belt by the India/Asia collision. Today, the range exhibits tectonically active forelands and intermontane basins. Based on quantitative morphotectonic observations and age constraints derived from cosmogenic 10Be dating, single-grain post-infrared infrared stimulated luminescence (p-IR IRSL) dating and modeling of fault scarp degradation, we quantify the deformation in the Nalati and Bayanbulak intermontane basins in the central Eastern Tianshan. Our results indicate that at least 1.4 mm/yr of horizontal crustal shortening is accommodated within these two basins. This shortening represents over 15% of the 8.5 ± 0.5 mm/yr total shortening rate across the entire range at this longitude. This shortening rate implies that the Eastern Central Tianshan is thickening at a mean rate of ∼1.4 mm/yr, a rate that is significantly higher than the average denudation rate of 0.14 mm/yr derived from our cosmogenic analysis. This discrepancy suggests that the Tianshan range has not yet reached a steady-state topography and remains in a transient state of topographic growth, most likely due to limited denudation rates driven by the arid climate of Central Asia.

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Avouac, Jean-Philippe0000-0002-3060-8442
Additional Information:© 2017 Elsevier B.V. Received 19 May 2017, Revised 8 September 2017, Accepted 11 September 2017, Available online 3 October 2017. This study was financed by the French INSU/CNRS SYSTER program. The ASTER national AMS facility (CEREGE, Aix en Provence) is supported by the INSU, CNRS, the French Ministry of Research and Higher Education, IRD and CEA. We also thank Richard Heermance and one anonymous reviewer for their reading and contribution to the improvement of this manuscript. This is CRPG contribution n° 2541.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Institut national des sciences de l'Univers (INSU)UNSPECIFIED
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de l'InnovationUNSPECIFIED
Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)UNSPECIFIED
Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Tianshan; Bayanbulak basin; 10Be exposure dating; Shortening rate; Active tectonics; Mountain building
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171003-111456097
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Official Citation:Julien Charreau, Dimitri Saint-Carlier, Stéphane Dominguez, Jérôme Lavé, Pierre-Henri Blard, Jean-Philippe Avouac, Marc Jolivet, Yan Chen, ShengLi Wang, Nathan David Brown, Luca Claude Malatesta, Edward Rhodes, Denudation outpaced by crustal thickening in the eastern Tianshan, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Volume 479, 1 December 2017, Pages 179-191, ISSN 0012-821X, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:81993
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:03 Oct 2017 19:58
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:47

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