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Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 12, pp 1888–1909 | Cite as

The Yanshan orogeny and late Mesozoic multi-plate convergence in East Asia—Commemorating 90th years of the “Yanshan Orogeny”

  • Shuwen DongEmail author
  • Yueqiao Zhang
  • Hailong Li
  • Wei Shi
  • Huaimin Xue
  • Jianhua Li
  • Shiqi Huang
  • Yongchao Wang
Research Paper
  • 71 Downloads

Abstract

The Yanshan movement/orogeny has been proposed for 90 years, which is of special significance in the history of geological research in China. This study conducted a review by synthesizing major achievements regarding episodic deformation features, sedimentary and magmatic records of the Yanshan orogeny in China, and clarified the episodic tectono-magmatism and its geodynamic origins. The tectonic implications of the Yanshan orogeny are discussed in the context of global plate tectonics and supercontinent reconstruction. Lines of evidence from structural, sedimentary and magmatic data suggest that the Yanshan orogeny represents a regional-scale tectonic event that affected the entire China continent in late Mesozoic period. Numerous age and structural constraints consistently indicate that the Yanshan orogeny was initiated in the Jurassic (at ∼170±5 Ma). and was characterized by alternating stages of crustal shortening at ∼170–136 Ma, crustal extension at ∼135–90 Ma, and weak shortening at ∼80 Ma. The 170–136 Ma crustal shortening was reflected in the generation of two regional stratigraphic unconformities (the Tiaojishan and Zhangjiakou unconformities), which were initially named the A and B episodes of “the Yanshan Orogeny” by Mr. Wong Wenhao in 1928. Geodynamically, the Yanshan orogeny in East Asia was associated with nearly coeval oceanic subduction and continental convergence in the Paleo-Pacific, Neo-Tethys, and Mongol-Okhotsk tectonic domains. As a consequence, three giant accretionary-collisional tectonic systems were formed along the continental margins of East Asia, i.e., the Mongol-Okhotsk, Bangonghu-Nujiang, and SE China subduction- and collision-related accretionary systems. The Yanshan orogeny induced widespread crustal-scale folding and thrusting, tectonic reactivation of long-lived zones of crustal weakness, and extensive magmatism and mineralization in intraplate regions. Based on the time principle of supercontinent assembly and break-up, we propose that the mid-Late Jurassic multi-plate convergence in East Asia might represent the initiation of the assembly of the Amasia supercontinent, and the Yanshan orogeny might be the first “stirrings” that is a prerequisite for the birth of the Amasia supercontinent.

Keywords

Yanshan orogeny Mid-Late Jurassic East Asia plate convergence Intracontinental orogeny Amasia supercontinent 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This paper represents a preliminary review by synthesizing major achievements regarding the Mesozoic tectonic evolution of East China, in commemoration of the proposal of the Yanshan movement/orogeny for 90 years. Thanks are given to Prof. Tingdong Li, Shu Sun, Jishun Ren, Rixiang Zhu, Zhenmin Jin, Chengshan Wang, Rui Gao, Zengqian Hou, Yue Zhao, Jianmin Hu, Changxing Long, Qiang Ji, Jinyi Li, O. Peterov, An Yin, T. Anderson, S. Johnston and Mian Liu for useful discussion and suggestions, which are greatly helpful to improve the initial manuscript. We appreciate the two anonymous reviewers for their critical and constructive reviews that have helped to improve the clarity and interpretations of the manuscript. This work was supported by the National Key R & D Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFC0601402), the Basic Science Foundation of Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences (Grant No. JYYWF20182101), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41822205), and the SinoProbe (Grant No. 08–01).

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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shuwen Dong
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yueqiao Zhang
    • 1
  • Hailong Li
    • 2
    • 3
  • Wei Shi
    • 3
  • Huaimin Xue
    • 4
  • Jianhua Li
    • 3
  • Shiqi Huang
    • 3
  • Yongchao Wang
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Earth Sciences and EngineeringNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Sinoprobe CenterChinese Academy of Geological SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of GeomechanicsChinese Academy of Geological SciencesBeijingChina
  4. 4.Institute of GeologyChinese Academy of Geological SciencesBeijingChina

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