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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geochemistry and Petrology
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science