Miocene Jiali faulting and its implications for Tibetan tectonic evolution

Hao Yang Lee, Sun Lin Chung*, Jun Ren Wang, Da Jen Wen, Ching Hua Lo, Tsanyao F. Yang, Yuquan Zhang, Yingwen Xie, Tung Yi Lee, Genyao Wu, Jianqing Ji

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Citations (Scopus)


The Karakoram-Jiali Fault Zone (KJFZ) comprises a series of right-lateral shear zones that southerly bound the eastward extrusion of northern Tibet relative to India and stable Eurasia. Here we present new 40Ar/39Ar age data from the Pqu and Parlung faults, two easternmost branches of the Jiali fault zone, which indicate a main phase of the KJFZ shearing from ∼ 18 to 12 Ma. Thus, the Tibetan eastward extrusion bounded by principal strike-slip fault zones started and was probably most active around the middle Miocene, an interval marked also by active east-west extension in southern Tibet. The coincidence of these two tectonic events strongly suggests a common causal mechanism, which is best explained as oblique convergence between India and Asia. Under the framework of this mechanism, the extension in southern Tibet is not a proxy for the plateau uplift. The KJFZ activity was furthermore coincident with right-lateral displacements along the Gaoligong and Sagaing faults in southeast Asia. This defines a Miocene deformation record for the regional dextral accommodation zone that, in response to the continuing India-Asia collision, may have accounted for the initiation and prolonged history of clockwise rotation of the Tibetan extrusion around the eastern Himalayan Syntaxis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-194
Number of pages10
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jan 10


  • Ar-40/Ar-39 dating
  • Eastern Himalayan Syntaxis
  • Karakoram-Jiali fault zone
  • Tibet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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