The Bayan Har Orogen comprises a major part of the “Qingzang-Dianxi fold region” in western China. It preserves important information of the tectono-thermal evolution covering the time span from the closure of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean up to the formation of the Himalayas. Low temperature metamorphic indicators, such as mineral assemblages, illite “crystallinity” (IC), chlorite “crystallinity” (CC), illite polytype, b-cell dimension of K-white micas, geothermometry of selected minerals were analyzed. The values of Kübler index (KI) of the Triassic flysch in the Bayan Har Orogen range from 0.23–1.63°Δ2θ while Árkai index (ÁI) in a range of 0.21–0.60°Δ2θ. Iso-thermal zones mapped with KI describe a pair of anchizones and an anchiregion within the Bayan Har Orogen: the “Giant Yushu Anchizone” in the southwest (extending >750km long and 100km wide), the “Zaling-Eling-Lakes Anchizone” in the center (about 150km long and 40km wide) and the “Xing-Tong-Zhe Anchiregion” in the northeast (covering an area of roughly 60,000km2). They are separated by diagenetic zones. Peak metamorphic conditions are estimated around 280–330°C and a low to intermediate (N. New Hampshire) pressure type. A slight change with increasing then decreasing pressure was observed from SW to NE. The relationship between anchimetamorphic pattern of Triassic flysch and large-scale folds and faults indicates syn- to post structural metamorphism. Compression at the end of the Triassic, induced by the interaction of the Tarim, North China and Indian blocks caused the closure of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean and led to the folding of the Triassic flysch within the Paleo-Tethys Ocean basin. Anchimetamorphism may have been caused by crustal thickening of >10km due to an accretionary wedge setting and a temperature increase in those rocks due to burial. Such a regional metamorphic pattern would provide important information for reconstruction of palaeotectonic-palaeogeograph and the evolutionary history of Tibetan plateau.
Tectonophysics – Elsevier
Published: Jan 16, 2018
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