Cenozoic Tectonic Evolution of the Northern Tibetan Plateau

Guangsheng Zhuang
Start Date: 
December, 2011

The Northern Tibetan Plateau plays a key role in accommodating the convergence between the Indian and Eurasian plates. The spectacular geological features include the left-lateral strike-slip Altyn Tagh fault and the broad fold-thrust belt Qilian Shan which bound the Northern Tibetan Plateau to the northwest and north, respectively. In the Northern Tibetan Plateau, the strain related to the Indo-Asia convergence was thought mostly to have been accommodated by the slip along the Altyn Tagh fault and thrust faulting within the Qilian Shan. However, there are still disputes on the timing and mode of deformation history in spite of decades of active research. Analyses on those geological features using satellite images will help identify the critical locations for field work.

Moreover, I am also interested in how the topography development was coupled with the tectonic processes in the lithosphere. Analysis on the topography with satellite image data, combined with available geological and geophysical datasets, will facilitate us to visualize those geological features in 2-D and 3-D. With these, we can have a better understanding of the coupling between the topographic development and tectonic processes. All these will help us understand how the Northern Tibetan Plateau evolved through the Cenozoic in response to the Indo-Asia collision.