Late Palaeozoic to Mesozoic kinematic history of the Talas-Ferghana strike-slip Fault (Kyrgyz West Tianshan) as revealed by 40Ar/39Ar dating of syn-kinematic white mica

Abstract : The NW-trending Talas-Ferghana Fault (TFF) in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, is one of the largest intracontinental strike-slip faults in the world. It extends over a distance of more than 2000 km from southern Tourghai to western Tarim and exhibits a maximum dextral offset of ∼200 km during the late Palaeozoic to present. The history of the fault provides important insights for the understanding of the evolution of southern Central Asia but remains poorly constrained due to lack of reliable geochronological data. We present new Ar-Ar ages and structural data from the Kyrgyz West Tianshan, that elucidate the kinematic history of the TFF in the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic. 40Ar/39Ar ages on mylonitic white micas document a deformational history consisting of several episodes. A late Carboniferous age of 312 ± 4 Ma point to initiation of top-to-the-south and dextral transpressional deformation during a metamorphic overprint in Precambrian and Palaeozoic rocks along the northern compartment of the TFF. The main phase of dextral motion along the entire fault occurred in the Permian as suggested by minimum ages of 260-290 Ma obtained at two different locations in the NW and central parts of the TFF. Partial isotopic resetting occurred between 240 and 210 Ma and younger ages of <200-210 Ma are ascribed to late brittle reactivation and hydrothermal fluid flow in the Late Triassic to Early Jurassic times. The Jurassic trans-tensional phase is featured by emplacement of 195 ± 3 Ma pegmatitic dykes. The Ar-Ar mineral ages and structural data argue for a major phase of dextral shearing, affecting the entire region from the West Tianshan to Mongolia in the late Permian and leading to formation of almost equally spaced major NW-trending dextral strike-slip faults. The uniform character of this deformation indicates that the process of amalgamation in this part of the CAOB ended prior to the late Permian, and Central Asia evolved as a single coherent continental block since that time.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 4:57:34 PM
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Yan Rolland, D.V. Alexeiev, A. Kröner, M. Corsini, Ch. Loury, et al.. Late Palaeozoic to Mesozoic kinematic history of the Talas-Ferghana strike-slip Fault (Kyrgyz West Tianshan) as revealed by 40Ar/39Ar dating of syn-kinematic white mica. Journal of Southeast Asian earth sciences, Elsevier, 2013, 67-68, pp.76-92. ⟨10.1016/j.jseaes.2013.02.012⟩. ⟨hal-00831326⟩

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