Paleozoic to early Triassic reconstruction of North Xinjiang, Chinese Central Asia

Category Tectonic & Seismotectonic
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Xiao, Wenjiao۱; Windley, Brian۲
Holding Date 24 September 2008

The Central Asian Orogenic Belt, or Altaids, was previously thought to have resulted from amalgamation and strike-slip duplexing of a single, huge arc chain, the Kipchuk arc in the west and Tuva-Mongol arc in the east. However, tectonic analysis and reconstruction of the intervening area, North Xinjiang, which recorded the convergence and interaction among Siberia, Kazakhstan, and Tarim, shows that it formed by multiple subduction systems. Based on paleomagnetic data and tectonic analysis, this paper presents palinspastic reconstructions from the early Paleozoic to the early Triassic. During most of this time, Siberia and Tarim were aligned roughly in an E-W orientation, similar to the present western Pacific arc systems that separate Eurasia to the west and North America to the west. The active margin of Siberia had wide accretionary complexes and accreted terranes, while the facing margin of Tarim remained passive. The strong convergence and accretionary tectonics between the Siberian accretionary systems and the passive margin of Tarim in the late Paleozoic and early Triassic, together with the stacking of the Kipchuk and Tuva-Mongol arcs, generated the huge Altaid accretionary orogen in Central Asia.