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Abstract: Basin Analysis of Western China Within Paleogeographic Framework of Evolution of Asia

YILMAZ, PINAR O., IAN O. NORTON, and Others, Exxon Exploration Company, P.O. Box 4778, Houston, TX 77210-4778

Tectonic domains of greater China are discussed with a summary of stratigraphy, structure and timing of events. In our usage, tectonic assemblages include Precambrian and older domains, accretionary complexes, melange and flysch belts, sutures, rifted crust and oceanic crust. Also mapped were igneous rocks and their chemistry, major structures and deformation timing.

There are several blocks which consists of continental or accretion crust. The relative positions and interactions of these blocks during the Phanerozoic time result in development of greater China. Amalgamation of these blocks created an extremely complex mountain system and diverse sedimentary basins. Activity continues to present day with deformation partitioned between thrusting in mountain belts and sliding along great strike slip faults.

There are five major events that play a significant role in amalgamation of greater China. These are: Paleozoic amalgamation of accretion complexes of western and northern China and Mongolia; Triassic continent/continent collisions during the Indosinian orogeny; Jurassic amalgamation of Tibet and North China to Tarim and Mongolia; Jurassic-Cretaceous active margin development in eastern China; and Eocene collision of India with Asia which overprinted earlier structures and created new structures that are active today.

The discussions consist of presentation of a model for tectonic evolution of these blocks and their paleogeography through Phanerozoic time with special emphasis on Western China. This is done with maps at 1:8 million scale covering nine time slices, three in the Paleozoic, three in the Mesozoic and three in the Cenozoic.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90937©1998 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Salt Lake City, Utah