The Geological Evolution of the Tibetan Plateau

  title={The Geological Evolution of the Tibetan Plateau},
  author={Leigh Handy Royden and B. Clark Burchfiel and Robert D. van der Hilst},
  pages={1054 - 1058}
The geological evolution of the Tibetan plateau is best viewed in a context broader than the India-Eurasia collision zone. After collision about 50 million years ago, crust was shortened in western and central Tibet, while large fragments of lithosphere moved from the collision zone toward areas of trench rollback in the western Pacific and Indonesia. Cessation of rapid Pacific trench migration (∼15 to 20 million years ago) coincided with a slowing of fragment extrusion beyond the plateau and… 
Pulsed rise and growth of the Tibetan Plateau to its northern margin since ca. 30 Ma
Significance The formation of the Qaidam basin in the northeastern Tibet marked the onset of crustal deformation that propagated from the Indo-Asia collision zone to the northern margins of the
Crustal architecture beneath the Tibet‐Ordos transition zone, NE Tibet, and the implications for plateau expansion
Most previous studies of the Tibetan Plateau have focused on the processes of crustal thickening and subsequent outward growth. However, lithospheric structure across the tectonic boundaries of the
Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the Tibetan Plateau – the Nepal Himalaya and the provenance of their foreland basins
The Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayan region formed after 55–50 Ma, as a result of the intracontinental collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates, occupying the east–west trending, high‐altitude
Importance of continental subductions for the growth of the Tibetan plateau
How and when the Tibetan plateau developed has long been a puzzling question with implications for the current understanding of the behaviour of the continental lithosphere in convergent zones. We
Seismic reflection data support episodic and simultaneous growth of the Tibetan Plateau since 25 Myr.
High-resolution seismic reflection and drill core results from the southern Tarim Basin indicate a similar pattern for the northern margin of the plateau, suggesting that uplift in northern Tibet started at ~23 Myr from near sea level, with the first episode finished by ~10 Myr, followed by a post-5-Myr episode of rapid uplift along the present plateau margin.
Late Miocene–Pliocene range growth in the interior of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau
The time-space patterns of deformation throughout the Indo-Asian collision zone can place constraints on the processes responsible for the development of high topography. Although most agree that
The growth of northeastern Tibet and its relevance to large‐scale continental geodynamics: A review of recent studies
Recent studies of the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau have called attention to two emerging views of how the Tibetan Plateau has grown. First, deformation in northern Tibet began essentially
Timing and mechanisms of Tibetan Plateau uplift
The timing of the initial India–Asia collision and the mechanisms that led to the eventual formation of the high (>5 km) Tibetan Plateau remain enigmatic. In this Review, we describe the


Extension during continental convergence, with application to the Tibetan Plateau
The Tibetan plateau is the product of crustal thickening caused by the collision between India and Asia and is the largest active example of extensional tectonics in a zone of continental collision.
Palaeo-altimetry of the late Eocene to Miocene Lunpola basin, central Tibet
Estimates of the palaeo-altimetry of late Eocene and younger deposits of the Lunpola basin in the centre of the plateau indicate that the surface of Tibet has been at an elevation of more than 4 kilometres for at least the past 35 million years.
Late Cenozoic uplift of southeastern Tibet
The age of surface uplift in southeastern Tibet is currently unknown, but the initiation of major river incision can be used as a proxy for the timing of initial uplift. The topographically high
Mantle dynamics, uplift of the Tibetan Plateau, and the Indian Monsoon
Convective removal of lower lithosphere beneath the Tibetan Plateau can account for a rapid increase in the mean elevation of the Tibetan Plateau of 1000 m or more in a few million years. Such uplift
Oblique Stepwise Rise and Growth of the Tibet Plateau
Two end member models of how the high elevations in Tibet formed are (i) continuous thickening and widespread viscous flow of the crust and mantle of the entire plateau and (ii) time-dependent,
Large-scale crustal deformation of the Tibetan Plateau
The topography, velocity, and strain fields calculated from a three-dimensional Newtonian viscous model for large-scale crustal deformation are generally in good agreement with results from
Normal faulting in central Tibet since at least 13.5 Myr ago
Data supported by recent geophysical and geological data, which indicate that spatial heterogeneity exists in both the Tibetan crust and lithospheric mantle, support models that relate normal faulting to processes occurring beneath the plateau.
Present-day kinematics at the India-Asia collision zone
The collision of the Indian subcontinent with Asia drives the growth and evolution of the greater Tibetan Plateau region. Fault slip rates resulting from the relative motion between crustal blocks
Tectonics of the Longmen Shan and Adjacent Regions, Central China
The Longmen Shan region includes, from west to east, the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau, the Sichuan Basin, and the eastern part of the eastern Sichuan fold-and-thrust belt. In the