Mineralogical and Magnetostratigraphic Study of Sediments: Implications for Tectonic History of The Tibetan Plateau

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 10612

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
State Key Laboratory of Loess and Quaternary Geology, Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xi’an 710075, China
Interests: tectonics; paleoenvironmental changes; magnetostratigraphy

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Guest Editor
School of Earth Sciences and Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
Interests: growth and evolution of the Tibetan Plateau during the Cenozoic time; the influence of climate related to landscape evolution

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Guest Editor
School of Earth and Space Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Interests: interactions between climate; sedimentation; erosion; landscape evolution and mountain building; terrestrial pale-oenvironmental changes during extreme weather and climate events

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Continental evolution, responsible for the evolution of the Earth’s mountain ranges and sedimentary basins, is a crucial element of Earth science. Sedimentary basins preserve thick sediments that document a vast range of geological processes with timing constraints. Over the last few decades, and especially the past decade, many new mineralogical and magnetostratigraphic datasets have been produced from basins of the Tibetan Plateau and the surrounding regions, to reveal the tectonic history of plateau evolution and its effects on climate changes. These diverse datasets coupled with rapid developments in analytical methods have provided us with robust investigative approaches to interpret these diverse geological records. This Special Issue provides an opportunity to present recent results in this area, and hopes to use these mineralogical and magnetostratigraphic datasets to form a comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of tectono-sedimentary systems in the Tibetan Plateau and the adjacent areas. We hope to attract geologists studying the continental evolution and sedimentary basins of Asia, with broad tectonic, climatic, and biotic implications.

Prof. Dr. Hong Chang
Prof. Dr. Weitao Wang
Prof. Dr. Feng Cheng
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • mineralogy
  • magenetostratigraphy
  • sediments
  • geochronology
  • tectonic deformation
  • Tibetan Plateau

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

13 pages, 6952 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Evolution of Central Qilian Shan (Northwest China) Constrained by Fission-Track Ages of Detrital Grains from the Huangshui River
by Xu Lin, Marc Jolivet and Feng Cheng
Minerals 2023, 13(7), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13070890 - 30 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1052
Abstract
The emergence of the Tibetan Plateau is one of the most significant geological events in East Asia. The Central Qilian Shan connects North and South Qilian Shan in the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau. However, the exhumation history of the Central Qilian [...] Read more.
The emergence of the Tibetan Plateau is one of the most significant geological events in East Asia. The Central Qilian Shan connects North and South Qilian Shan in the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau. However, the exhumation history of the Central Qilian Block from the Mesozoic to Cenozoic remains unclear. Determining the cooling ages of detrital zircon and apatite in modern river sediments is an ideal method for tracing the evolutionary processes of orogenic belts. In this study, we present the first single-grain detrital apatite (153) and zircon fission-track (108) data for the Huangshui River sediments from the Central Qilian Shan. The decomposition of the dataset revealed major Mesozoic and Cenozoic age peaks at ca. 145–93, and 11 Ma. The Central Qilian Shan entered the intracontinental orogeny stage dating back to the Cretaceous (ca. 145–93 Ma) and Late Cenozoic (ca. 11 Ma) caused by the subduction of the Neo-Tethys and Indian–Asian collision. Therefore, we propose that the geomorphic framework of the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau was initially established during the Mesozoic and further consolidated in the Late Miocene. Full article
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17 pages, 4558 KiB  
Article
Magnetostratigraphy of Early Oligocene-Middle Miocene Deposits in the Xunhua Basin on the Tibet Plateau, China, and Their Paleoclimate Significance
by Pengfei Li, Chaofeng Fu, Akemu Saimaiti, Hong Chang, Ju’e Tian, Lin Chen and Xiaoke Qiang
Minerals 2023, 13(5), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13050671 - 13 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
The growth history of the Tibetan Plateau provides a valuable natural laboratory to understand tectonic processes of the India–Asia collision and their impact on and interactions with Asian and global climate change. However, both Tibetan Plateau growth and Asian paleoenvironments are generally poorly [...] Read more.
The growth history of the Tibetan Plateau provides a valuable natural laboratory to understand tectonic processes of the India–Asia collision and their impact on and interactions with Asian and global climate change. However, both Tibetan Plateau growth and Asian paleoenvironments are generally poorly documented in pre-Pliocene times and reflect limited temporal coverage for different parts of the plateau. In this paper, the 238 m thick Cenozoic sediments in the Hongzhuang section of the Xunhua Basin were tested and analyzed via paleomagnetic and environmental magnetic methods. The formation age was determined, and the evolution history of the regional climate environment was analyzed. The magnetostratigraphy study shows that the sediments record a continuous sequence of geomagnetic polarity changes from C5ACn to C10r, which spans an interval of approximately 30~14.3 Ma from the early Oligocene to the middle Miocene. The magnetic susceptibility of the Hongzhuang section is basically similar to the deep-sea oxygen isotope fluctuation, indicating that the monsoon climate change indicated by the magnetic susceptibility is affected by global temperature. It is worth noting that at ~27 Ma and ~15 Ma, there is a negative correlation between magnetic susceptibility and deep-sea oxygen isotope, and magnetic susceptibility lags behind the increase in deep-sea oxygen isotope. Combined with the change in the sedimentary rate curve, we explain the asynchrony between the magnetic susceptibility and the deep-sea oxygen isotope around ~27 Ma and ~15 Ma. As the uplift of the plateau leads to the enhancement of the East Asian summer monsoon, the soil formation in the region is strengthened, resulting in an increase in magnetic susceptibility. At the same time, the rapid uplift of the plateau caused the erosion of the surrounding mountains to strengthen, and the input of near-source materials may promote the increase in magnetic susceptibility. Full article
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14 pages, 3545 KiB  
Article
The Mechanism Driving Magnetic Enhancement in the Sediments of Core PT2 from Southwestern China
by Ziyi Yang, Xinwen Xu, Fangshe Yang, Qiongqiong Wang and Xiaoke Qiang
Minerals 2023, 13(4), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13040577 - 20 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1082
Abstract
Lacustrine sediments are good recorders of palaeoenvironment changes and have been widely studied in recent years. The study of lacustrine sediments in Southwest China will improve our understanding of the complex environmental evolution history of Southwest China. Therefore, this paper presents a high-resolution [...] Read more.
Lacustrine sediments are good recorders of palaeoenvironment changes and have been widely studied in recent years. The study of lacustrine sediments in Southwest China will improve our understanding of the complex environmental evolution history of Southwest China. Therefore, this paper presents a high-resolution rock magnetism study from the Pengtun drilling hole (PT2) in the Heqing Basin, Southwest China. The results show that the dominant magnetic minerals in the PT2 drill core are magnetite, maghemite and haematite. The magnetic susceptibility (χ) of the upper part of the core (0–13.5 m) is lower than that of the lower part (13.5–33.5 m). There is no maghemite in the upper sections. The minerals with high χ values have the characteristics of pseudosingle-domain (PSD), single-domain (SD), superparamagnetic (SP) and multidomain (MD) grains. The magnetic domains are widely distributed, and the particles are coarser. When χ is low, the magnetic domains of the different samples vary greatly, and the particles are finer. Combined with the magnetic and nonmagnetic characteristics of the sediment, we infer that the change in χ in the PT2 drill core is related to clastic input, water erosion, and reductive dissolution. Full article
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20 pages, 12641 KiB  
Article
Magnetostratigraphy of the Tuotuohe Formation in the Tuotuohe Basin, Central-Northern Tibetan Plateau: Paleolatitude and Paleoenvironmental Implications
by Leyi Li, Hong Chang, Xiangzhong Li, Balázs Bradák, Junjie Shen, Xiaoke Qiang and Chong Guan
Minerals 2023, 13(4), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/min13040533 - 10 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1657
Abstract
Paleolatitude evolution could provide a general paleo-location framework for explaining the paleoclimate change and tectonic deformation in geological time. Strengthening the paleolatitude study of the Tuotuohe Basin is important for understanding the history and mechanism of the tectonic uplift process in the north-central [...] Read more.
Paleolatitude evolution could provide a general paleo-location framework for explaining the paleoclimate change and tectonic deformation in geological time. Strengthening the paleolatitude study of the Tuotuohe Basin is important for understanding the history and mechanism of the tectonic uplift process in the north-central Tibetan Plateau. In this study, we introduced the magnetostratigraphy for the Tuotuohe-D (TTH-D) section in the Tuotuohe Basin, central-northern Tibetan Plateau, in order to constrain the chronology and to reconstruct the paleolatitude of the basin during the deposition of the Tuotuohe Formation. The results indicated that the Tuotuohe Formation in the TTH-D section was deposited between 38.5 and ~36.7 Ma. Combining this age with the results from the Tuotuohe section indicates that the age of the Tuotuohe Formation spans the interval from >38.5 Ma to ~33 Ma. Additionally, other paleomagnetic data of the Tuotuohe Formation from the Tuotuohe section, combined with the data from this study, indicate that the paleolatitude of the Tuotuohe Basin during the late Eocene was 25.9 ± 4.2°. That means that the Tuotuohe Basin was located in a subtropical anticyclonic zone and that the paleoenvironment during the late Eocene might be controlled by subtropical high pressure. Additionally, paleomagnetic results from the Qiangtang terrane and the bordering regions are combined with the results of our study, which suggest that the paleolatitude of the Tuotuohe Basin at ~26 Ma coincides well with the Eurasian apparent polar wander path for that interval, and that the N-S India–Asia convergence was reduced or ceased at ~26 Ma in the Tuotuohe Basin. Full article
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16 pages, 4681 KiB  
Article
Origin of the Dolomitic Ooids Formed in the Pliocene Shizigou Formation in the Qaidam Basin, Northern Tibet Plateau and Implications for Climate Change
by Lewei Hao, Jiantuan Jia, Huifei Tao, Jinniu Chen, Xiaofeng Ma, Shutong Li and Junli Qiu
Minerals 2022, 12(12), 1586; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12121586 - 10 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1347
Abstract
The concentric layers of ooids from the modern environment are mostly aragonite and those from the ancient are mostly calcite and Mg-calcite. Dolomitic ooids are rare and are usually formed via the replacement of aragonite or calcite. Here, dolomitic ooids were found in [...] Read more.
The concentric layers of ooids from the modern environment are mostly aragonite and those from the ancient are mostly calcite and Mg-calcite. Dolomitic ooids are rare and are usually formed via the replacement of aragonite or calcite. Here, dolomitic ooids were found in the Pliocene Shizigou Formation in the Qaidam Basin, Northern Tibet Plateau. This paper focuses on whether the dolomitic ooids is a primary precipitate. Optical microscope and scanning electron microscope observation, combined with X-ray diffraction and cathodoluminescence analyses, indicate that the primary mineral of the ooid cortices is poorly ordered dolomite. Extracellular polymeric substances and pyrite were found in the ooids, indicating that the microbe participation was involved in the formation of the ooids. Firstly, the ooids grow on the offshore lake floor. Due to the involvement of sulfate-reducing bacteria and dissolved silica, the nanominerals were precipitated on extracellular polymeric substances. Then, the ooids were transported to strong hydrodynamic surf zones, where the random nanominerals were abraded to form flattened plates as a new polished layer. In addition, a comparison between the carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions and minerals of ooids from different periods indicate that the Pliocene lakes had a lower salinity and were more humid than Pleistocene lakes. Therefore, ooids may be an effective proxy for reflecting the climatic change and uplift history of the Tibet Plateau. Full article
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10 pages, 2799 KiB  
Article
Aridification in the Asian Interior Recorded by Mineral Assemblages in Tarim Basin since the Late Miocene and Its Link to Global Cooling
by Maojie Yang, Hong Chang, Xiuling Qin, George S. Burr and Weiguo Liu
Minerals 2022, 12(12), 1543; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12121543 - 30 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1391
Abstract
Understanding climate change during the relatively warm Pliocene, as compared to the present, offers significant potential for understanding future global consequences of rising atmospheric CO2. Sensitivity differences among various climate proxies lead to divergent interpretations of the driving mechanisms of inland [...] Read more.
Understanding climate change during the relatively warm Pliocene, as compared to the present, offers significant potential for understanding future global consequences of rising atmospheric CO2. Sensitivity differences among various climate proxies lead to divergent interpretations of the driving mechanisms of inland aridification. Minerals as a paleoclimatic indicator with high water-sensitivity can provide effective support for reconstructing climate evolution and clearly understanding driving mechanisms in extremely arid regions. Here we present results of mineral analyses from lacustrine–fluvial Neogene sediments in the eastern Tarim Basin. Evaporite minerals are composed principally of calcite, dolomite, and gypsum, with minor amounts of ankerite and celestite. Clay minerals are dominated by illite and chlorite. We find that evaporite minerals and illite reflect regional climate change through time, and specifically determine the following: (1) climate in the Tarim Basin during the late Miocene was relatively humid, with alternating dry and wet periods from 6.86~5.58 Ma; (2) immediately following that interval, aridification increased rapidly, with reduced regional precipitation that accelerated the shrinkage of the lake; (3) from 4.4 Ma to 3.62 Ma, regional precipitation increased slightly but afterwards, aridification resumed: the climate there has been extremely dry since about 2.7 Ma. Our results show that the climate in the Tarim Basin has followed a global cooling trend since the late Miocene, and suggest that the effect of uplift in the Tibetan Plateau is a secondary influence. Full article
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14 pages, 9959 KiB  
Article
Three-Dimensional Fault-Fold Growth Deciphered from Combined Seismic and Geological Data: A Case Study from the Xiongpo Anticline, Longmen Shan Piedmont
by Xianyi Li, Xinru Zheng, Xiangming Dai, Rafael Almeida and Chuang Sun
Minerals 2022, 12(11), 1405; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12111405 - 3 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1378
Abstract
The Xiongpo fault-fold belt shows prominent NE, ENE- and ~N–S-trending relief, which resulted from multi-stage upper crustal shortening in the Longmen Shan piedmont during the eastward growth of the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Previous studies have determined its 2D structural configurations from seismic profiles [...] Read more.
The Xiongpo fault-fold belt shows prominent NE, ENE- and ~N–S-trending relief, which resulted from multi-stage upper crustal shortening in the Longmen Shan piedmont during the eastward growth of the eastern Tibetan Plateau. Previous studies have determined its 2D structural configurations from seismic profiles and field-based geological cross-sections. Here, we extend this analysis into the entire belt to explore the 3D structural evolution of this complex fault-fold belt and have built a 3D regional fault model. The results reveal along-strike variation of subsurface structural architecture of the Xiongpo fault-fold belt, which is characterized by transformation from a complex superimposition of a deep fault-bend fold beneath a shallow structural wedge in the center segment to a simple shallow fault-bend fold on both ends of the structure, and then to a trishear fault propagation fold on the plunging edges. This structural transformation determines the contrast between the NE-striking relief of the central segment, and the ENE- and ~N-S-striking relief in the two plunging zones. We combine our results with published low-temperature thermochronology and growth strata results to propose a three-stage evolution for the Xiongpo fault-fold belt that closely relates with regional stress field changes, including a NE-striking fault under the NW–SE compression between 40–25 Ma and 15–10 Ma, lateral propagation of the NE-striking fault and initiation of ENE-striking fault by WNW–ESE compression from ~5–2 Ma, ~N–S fault under ~E–W compression until the present. This work enhances our understanding of the stress field changes of eastern Tibet since the Late Eocene. It also can serve as a typical case study deciphering 3D fault-fold growth using seismic and geological imaging, which is helpful to understand 3D structural and landscape evolutions of other complex fault-fold belts worldwide. Full article
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