UCAS Launches Cenozoic Tectonic Evolution Project on the Tibetan Plateau

  • Published: 2016-03-30
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Cenozoic tectonic evolution and deep dynamic processes in the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, a major program supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, was launched on 25 March. Prof. Shi Yaolin, a UCAS Academician is the the principal investigator.

The research seeks to clarify the lateral growth processes and intra-continent orogeny mechanisms of the Tibetan Plateau and explore the inner-connections between the tectonic evolution and seismogenic environment, so as to implement a combination of the surface deformation, earthquake activities and 3-D deep tectonics into a quantitative computation model and seek a unified geodynamic explanation.
The northeastern margin of Tibetan Plateau is a tectonic transition zone between the growing Tibetan plateau and the North China craton. Since the Cenozoic era, this region has been undergoing an intensive tectonic deformation — strong crustal shortening and lateral escape associated with vertical uplift, which composes the youngest and emerging part of the Tibetan plateau. Based on previous work, UCAS researchers will supplement geological observations and high resolution geophysical detection data about the target area and utilize a high resolution, large scale finite element technique to examine, distinguish and improve the existing and improved regional conceptual evolutionary model in order to deduce a 4-D temporal-spatial geodynamic evolution model.
With improvement of the understanding of the uplift history of the marginal Tibetan Plateau and the intra-continental mountain building mechanism in the context of the entire plateau uplifting, the research may be of considerable interest to international geodynamics academia. It may establish an improved theoretical foundation for earthquake prevention and disaster mitigation in China.

This project is first Major Program of UCAS supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China and is thus of special significance.

By Li Yifei