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Deformation and sedimentary responses to top-to-north shear along the range front of the Big Band of the Ailao Shan--Red River shear zone and its origin, SE edge of the Tibetan Plateau
  • Erchie Wang,
  • Chun Fan,
  • Zhe Su
Erchie Wang
Institute of Geology and Geophysics, CAS

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Chun Fan
School of Energy Resources, China University of Geosciences
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Zhe Su
National Institute of Natural Hazards, Ministry of Emergency Management of China
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Understanding the mountain–basin coupling relationship is fundamental to placing constraints on the tectonic evolution of the Ailao Shan–Red River mylonite shear zone, the key feature accommodating relative movement between the Tibetan Plateau and SE Asia, because a contemporary basin bounds its middle segment on the northeast, along which the shear zone is bent from northwest–southeast to roughly east–west. The basin comprises two units: the Mubang Breccia and the Lengdun Conglomerate of Early Oligocene and Late Oligocene–Early Miocene age, respectively. This study reveals evidence indicating that the Wubang Breccia marks a high-strain zone, resulting from top-to-north shear (range-front detachment (RFD)), along which the mylonite on the footwall experienced northward bending. Moreover, the Lengdun Conglomerate on the hanging wall was deposited as growth strata, overlying a thrust belt to the north. The latter marks the southern rim of the Yangtze block, composed of landslide blocks, whose northward displacement along the toe of the RFD was synchronized with the north–south extension across the Red River basin. The spatial and temporal relationships between the Red River basin and the Ailao Shan–Red River shear zone indicate that basin formation was controlled by the change in geometry of the shear zone. The Red River basin can be viewed as an extensional step-over in the left-lateral strike-slip field, in which all sedimentary and deformation processes are the manifestation of the gravitational collapse, accommodated by the RFD. This indicates that the sedimentary detritus, including both landslide blocks and the Langdun Conglomerate, were all shed from the top of the Ailao Shan mylonite belt. The cause of bending of the shear zone is attributed to the northward movement between India and South China.