Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 6, pp 681–710 | Cite as

Syn-tectonic sedimentation and its linkage to fold-thrusting in the region of Zhangjiakou, North Hebei, China

  • Shaofeng Liu
  • Chengfa Lin
  • Xiaobo Liu
  • Qitian Zhuang
Review Special Topic: Destruction of craton and subduction of western Pacific plate


The timing of the “Yanshanian Movement” and the tectonic setting that controlled the Yanshan fold-and-thrust belt during Jurassic time in China are still matters of controversy. Sediments that filled the intramontane basins in the Yanshan belt perfectly record the history of “Yanshanian Movement” and the tectonic background of these basins. Recognizing syn-tectonic sedimentation, clarifying its relationship with structures, and accurately defining strata ages to build up a correct chronostratigraphic framework are the key points to further reveal the timing and kinematics of tectonic deformation in the Yanshan belt from the Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous. This paper applies both tectonic and sedimentary methods on the fold-and-thrust belt and intramontane basins in the Zhangjiakou area, which is located at the intersection between the western Yanshan and northern Taihangshan. Our work suggests that the pre-defined “Jurassic strata” should be re-dated and sub-divided into three strata units: a Late Triassic to Early Jurassic unit, a Middle Jurassic unit, and a Late Jurassic to early Early Cretaceous unit. Under the control of growth fold-and-thrust structures, five types of growth strata developed in different growth structures: fold-belt foredeep type, thrust-belt foredeep type, fault-propagation fold-thrust structure type, fault-bend fold-thrust structure type, and fault-bend fold-thrust plus fault-propagation fold composite type. The reconstructed “source-to-sink” systems of Late Triassic to Early Jurassic, Middle Jurassic and Late Jurassic to early Early Cretaceous times, which are composed of a fold-and-thrust belt and flexure basins, imply that the “Yanshanian Movement” in our study area started in theMiddle Jurassic. During Middle Jurassic to early Early Cretaceous times, there have been at least three stages of fold-thrust events that developed “Laramide-type” basement-involved fold-thrust structures and small-scale intramontane broken “axial basins”. The westward migration of a “pair” of basement-involved fold-thrust belt and flexure basins might have been controlled by flat subduction of the western Paleo-Pacific slab from the Jurassic to the Early Cretaceous.


Yanshan-Taihangshan Fold-and-thrust belt Flexural basin Growth strata Source-to-sink system Thick-skinned fold-and-thrust belt 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



Thanks to Prof. Zhu Rixiang for inviting this manuscript, and to Prof. Yongfei Zheng and three reviewers for valuable advice. The work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41572189 & 91114203), National Key R&D Plan (Grant No. 2017YFC0601405), and the Strategic Priority Research Program (B) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant No. XDB18000000).


  1. Berg R R. 1962. Mountain flank thrusting in Rocky Mountain foreland, Wyoming and Colorado. Bull Am Assoc Petrol Geol, 46: 2019–2032Google Scholar
  2. Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources of Hebei Province. 1989. Regional Geology of Hebei Province, Beijing and Tianjin Municipality. Beijing: Geological Publishing House. 182–191Google Scholar
  3. Chang S C, Zhang H, Hemming S R, Mesko G T, Fang Y. 2014. 40Ar/39Ar age constraints on the Haifanggou and Lanqi formations: When did the first flowers bloom? Geol Soc Lond Spec Publ, 378: 277–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Charvet J. 2013. Late Paleozoic-Mesozoic tectonic evolution of SW Japan: A review—Reappraisal of the accretionary orogeny and revalidation of the collisional model. J Asian Earth Sci, 72: 88–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen H Y, Zhang Y Q, Zhang J D, Fan Y G, Peng Q P, Lian Q, Sun L P, Yu L. 2014. LA-ICP-MS zircon U-Pb age and geochemi-cal characteristics of tuff of Jiulongshan Formation from Chengde basin, northern Hebei (in Chinese). Geol Bull China, 7: 966–973Google Scholar
  6. Chen J B, Wu T S. 1997. Multiple Comparison of Stratigraphy in China: North China Region (in Chinese). Wuhan: China University of Geosciences Press. 199Google Scholar
  7. Cope T D, Shultz M R, Graham S A. 2007. Detrital record of Mesozoic shortening in the Yanshan belt, NE China: Testing structural inter-pretations with basin analysis. Basin Res, 19: 253–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davis G A. 2005. The Late Jurassic “Tuchengzi/Houcheng” formation of the Yanshan fold-thrust belt: An analysis. Earth Sci Front, 12: 331–345Google Scholar
  9. Davis G A, Meng J, Cao W, Du X. 2009. Triassic and Jurassic Tectonics in the Eastern Yanshan Belt, North China: Insights from the controversial Dengzhangzi Formation and its neighboring units. Earth Sci Front, 16: 69–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Davis G A, Zheng Y D, Wang C. 2001. Mesozoic tectonic evolution of the Yanshan fold and thrust belt, with emphasis on Hebei and Liaoning provinces, northern China. In: Hendrix M S, Davis G A, eds. Paleozoic and Mesozoic Tectonic Evolution of Central Asia: From Continental Assembly to Intracontinental Deformation. Boulder: Geological Society of America Memoir. 171–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Deng J F, Su S G, Niu Y L, Liu C, Zhao G C, Zhao X G, Zhou S, Wu Z X. 2007. A possible model for the lithospheric thinning of North China Craton: Evidence from the Yanshanian (Jura-Cretaceous) magmatism and tectonism. Lithos, 96: 22–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dong S W, Zhang Y Q, Long C X, Yang Z Y, Ji Q, Wang T, Hu J M, Chen X H. 2007. Jurassic Tectonic Revolution in China and New Interpretation of the Yanshanian movement (in Chinese). Geol Bull China, 81: 1449–1461Google Scholar
  13. Dickinson W R, Klute M A, Hayes M J, Janecke S U, Lundin E R, McKittrick M A, Olivares M D. 2005. Paleogeographic and paleotectonic setting of Laramide sedimentary basins in the central Rocky Mountain region. Geol Soc Am Bull, 100: 1023–1039CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Erslev E A. 1991. Trishear fault-propagation folding. Geology, 19: 617–620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fan W M, Menzies M A. 1992. Destruction of aged lower lithosphere and accretion of asthenosphere mantle beneath eastern China. Geotecton Metallog, 16: 171–180Google Scholar
  16. Huang D Y. 2015. Yanliao biota and Yanshanian movement (in Chinese). Acta Palaeontol Sin, 54: 501–546Google Scholar
  17. Isozaki Y, Aoki K, Nakama T, Yanai S. 2010. New insight into a subduction- related orogen: A reappraisal of the geotectonic framework and evolution of the Japanese Islands. Gondwana Res, 18: 82–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kemkin I V. 2012. Microfaunal biostratigraphy and structural framework of the Nadanhada-Bikin terrane within a Jurassic accretionary prism of the Sikhote-Alin Fold Belt, eastern Russia. J Asian Earth Sci, 61: 88–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Li C M, Zhang C H, Cope T D, Lin Y. 2016. Out-of-sequence thrusting in polycyclic thrust belts: An example from the Mesozoic Yanshan belt, North China Craton. Tectonics, 35: 2082–2116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Li Z, Liu S, Zhang J, Wang Q. 2004. Typical bsin-fill sequences and basin migration in Yanshan, North China. Sci China Ser D-Earth Sci, 47: 181–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Liu J, Zhao Y, Liu X M, Wang Y, Liu X W. 2012. Rapid exhumation of basement rocks along the northern margin of the North China craton in the early Jurassic: Evidence from the Xiabancheng Basin, Yanshan Tectonic Belt. Basin Res, 24: 544–558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Liu J, Zhao Y, Liu A K, Ye H. 2015a. Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous sedimentary-tectonic development in the Chengde Basin, Yanshan foldthrust belt, North China Craton. J Asian Earth Sci, 114: 611–622CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Liu S F. 1998. The coupling mechanism of basin and orogen in the western Ordos Basin and adjacent regions of China. J Asian Earth Sci, 16: 369–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Liu S F, Heller P L, Zhang G W. 2003. Mesozoic basin development and tectonic evolution of the Dabieshan orogenic belt, central China. Tectonics, 22: 1038CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Liu S F, Gurnis M, Ma P F, and Z B. 2017. Reconstruction of northeast Asian deformation integrated with western Pacific plate subduction since 200 Ma. Earth-Sci Rev, 175: 114–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Liu S F, Li Z, Zhang J F. 2004a. Mesozoic basin evolution and structural framework in Yanshan area, China. Sci China Ser D-Earth Sci, 47 (Suppl 2): 24–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Liu S F, Lin C F. 2017. Migration of episodic fold-thrusting and basin subsidence across North China Craton in response to western Pacifc plate subduction. In preparationGoogle Scholar
  28. Liu S F, Qian T, Li W P, Dou G X, Wu P. 2015b. Oblique closure of the northeastern Paleo-Tethys in central China. Tectonics, 34: 413–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Liu S F, Su S, Zhang G W. 2013. Early Mesozoic basin development in North China: Indications of cratonic deformation. J Asian Earth Sci, 62: 221–236CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Liu S F, Yang S G. 2000. Upper Triassic-Jurassic sequence stratigraphy and its structural controls in the western Ordos Basin, China. Basin Res, 12: 1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Liu S F, Zhang J F, Hong S Y, Ritts B. 2007. Early Mesozoic basin development and its response to thrusting in the Yanshan Fold-and- Thrust Belt, China. Int Geol Rev, 49: 1025–1049CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Liu S F, Zhang J F, Li Z, Wang Q C. 2004b. Late Jurassic basin-fill record and its implication for basin margin tectonism, Chengde, Yanshan Mountains, North China (in Chinese). Earth Sci Front, 11: 245–254Google Scholar
  33. Liu X B, Liu S F, Lin C F. 2016. Analysis of Depositional Characteristics of Tuchengzi Formation and Basin Edge Structures, Chicheng-Xuanhua Basin, Northwestern Hebei Province (in Chinese). J Jilin Univ-Earth Sci Ed, 46: 1297–1311Google Scholar
  34. Liu X W, Hu J M, Zhao Y, Wu H, Zhang T K. 2005. Stratigraphic division and correlation of the Early-Middle Jurassic in northern Hebei, China (in Chinese). Geol Bull China, 24: 872–878Google Scholar
  35. Meng Q R, Wei H H, Wu G L, Duan L. 2014. Early Mesozoic tectonic settings of the northern North China craton. Tectonophysics, 611: 155–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Nemec W, Steel R. 1984. Alluvial and coastal conglomerates: Their significant features and some comments on gravelly mass-flow deposits. In: Koster E, Steel R, eds. Sedimentology of Gravels and Conglomerates. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Memoir. 31Google Scholar
  37. Niu B G, He Z J, Song B, Ren J S. 2003. The SHRIMP dating of the Zhangjiakou volcanic series and its significance (in Chinese). Geol Bull China, 22: 140–141Google Scholar
  38. Poblet J. 2012. 2D kinematic models of growth fault-related folds in contractional settings. In: Busby C, Azor A, eds. Tectonics of Sedimentary Basins: Recent Advances. Oxford: Willey-Blackwell. 538–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Qi G W, Zhang J J, Wang M. 2015. Mesozoic tectonic setting of rift basins in eastern North China and implications for destruction of the North China Craton. J Asian Earth Sci, 111: 414–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Qi J F, Yu F S, Lu K Z, Zhou J X, Wang Z Y, Yang Q. 2003. Conspectus on Mesozoic basin in Bohai Bay Province (in Chinese). Earth Sci Front, 10: 199–206Google Scholar
  41. Ren Q, Zhang S H, Wu H C, Liang Z K, Miao X J, Zhao H Q, Li H Y, Yang T S, Pei J L, Davis A G. 2016. Further paleomagnetic results from the ~155 Ma Tiaojishan Formation, Yanshan Belt, North China, and their implications for the tectonic evolution of the Mongol-Okhotsk suture. Gondwana Res, 35: 180–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Salvini F, Storti F. 2002. Three-dimensional architecture of growth strata associated to fault-bend, fault-propagation, and décollement anticlines in non-erosional environments. Sediment Geol, 146: 57–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Shao J A, Meng Q R, Wei H Q, Zhang L Q, Wang P Y. 2003. Nature and tectonic environment of Late Jurassic volcanic-sedimentary basins in northwestern Hebei Province (in Chinese). Geol Bull China, 22: 751–761Google Scholar
  44. Shaw H J, Connors C, Suppe J. 2005. Seismic Interpretation of Contractional Fault-Related Folds. The American Association of Petroleum Geologist. 53Google Scholar
  45. Studnicki-Gizbert C, Burchfiel B C, Li Z, Chen Z. 2008. Early Tertiary Gonjo basin, eastern Tibet: Sedimentary and structural record of the early history of India-Asia collision. Geosphere, 4: 713–735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Suppe J, Connors C D, Zhang Y. 2004. Shear fault-bend folding. In: McClay K R, ed. Thrust Tectonics and Hydrocarbon Systems. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Memoir. 303–323Google Scholar
  47. Suppe J, Sàbat F, Anton Muñoz J, Poblet J, Roca E, Vergés J. 1997. Bedbybed fold growth by kink-band migration: Sant llorenç de Morunys, eastern Pyrenees. J Struct Geol, 19: 443–461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Swisher C, Wang X, Zhou Z, Wang Y, Fan J. 2002. Further support for a Cretaceous age for the feathered-dinosaur beds of Liaoning, China: New 40Ar/39Ar dating of the Yixian and Tuchengzi Formations. Sci Bull, 47: 136–139Google Scholar
  49. Sun L X, Zhao F Q, Wang H C, Gu Y C, Ji S P. 2007. Correlationship of Tuchengzi Formation and Implications of the Basin Tectonic Evolution in the Intracontinental Yanshan Orogenic Belt (in Chinese). Acta Geol Sin, 81: 445–453Google Scholar
  50. Wang G L, Cao D Y, Jiang B, Xu Z B, Liu D Z, Yan S X. 1992. Thrust nappe, extensional nappe and gravitational gliding structures in southern North China (in Chinese). Xuzhou: China University of Mining Technology. 245Google Scholar
  51. Wang Y, Zhou L Y, Li J Y. 2011. Intracontinental superimposed tectonics —A case study in the Western Hills of Beijing, eastern China. Geol Soc Am Bull, 123: 1033–1055CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wang Y, Zhou L Y, Zhao L J. 2013. Cratonic reactivation and orogeny: An example from the northern margin of the North China Craton. Gondwana Res, 24: 1203–1222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wang Y, Zhou L Y, Luo Z H. 2017. Kinematics and timing of continental block deformation from margins to interiors. Terra Nova, 29: 253–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wong W H. 1927. Crustal movements and igneous activities in Eastern China since Mesozoic time. Bull Geol Soc China, 6: 9–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wu F Y, Yang J H, Lo C H, Wilde S A, Sun D Y, Jahn B M. 2007. The Heilongjiang Group: A Jurassic accretionary complex in the Jiamusi Massif at the western Pacific margin of northeastern China. Isl Arc, 16: 156–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Xu W L, Wang F, Pei F P, Meng E, Tang J, Xu M J, Wang W. 2013. Mesozoic tectonic regimes and regional ore-forming background in NE China: Constraints from spatial and temporal variations of Mesozoic volcanic rock associations (in Chinese). Acta Petrol Sin, 29: 339–353Google Scholar
  57. Xiao W J, Windley B F, Hao J, Zhai M. 2003. Accretion leading to collision and the Permian Solonker suture, Inner Mongolia, China: Termination of the Central Asian orogenic belt. Tectonics, 22: 1069CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Yang J H, Wu F Y, Shao J A, Wilde S A, Xie L W, Liu X M. 2006. Constraints on the timing of uplift of the Yanshan Fold and Thrust Belt, North China. Earth Planet Sci Lett, 246: 336–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Yang W, Li S G. 2008. Geochronology and geochemistry of the Mesozoic volcanic rocks in Western Liaoning: Implications for lithospheric thinning of the North China Craton. Lithos, 102: 88–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Yonkee W A, Weil A B. 2015. Tectonic evolution of the Sevier and Laramide belts within the North American Cordillera orogenic system. Earth-Sci Rev, 150: 531–593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zhang C H. 1999. A primary discussion on the intraplate orogenic belt (in Chinese). Earth Sci Front, 6: 295–308Google Scholar
  62. Zhang C H, Chen A G, Bai Z D. 1997. Thick-skin thrust nappe structure and blind coal field matter in Xinglong coal field and adjacent area, Hebei Province (in Chinese). J Graduate School, China Univ Geosci, 11: 305–312Google Scholar
  63. Zhang C H, Song H L. 2001. Mesozoic dextral strike-slip structural system in middle segment of intraplate Yanshan orogenic belt, northern China (in Chinese). Earth Sci-J China Univ Geosci, 26: 464–472Google Scholar
  64. Zhang C H, Wang G H, Wang G S, Wu Z W, Zhang L S, Sun W H. 2002. Thrust Tectonics in the Eastern Segment of the Intraplate Yanshan Orogenic Belt, Western Liaoning Province, North China (in Chinese). Acta Geol Sin, 76: 64–76Google Scholar
  65. Zhang C H, Wu G G, Xu D B, Wang G H, Sun W H. 2004. Mesozoic tectonic framework and evolution in the central segment of the intraplate Yanshan orogenic belt (in Chinese). Geol Bull China, 23: 864–873Google Scholar
  66. Zhang C H, Li C M, Deng H L, Liu Y, Liu L, Wei B, Li H B, Liu Z. 2011. Mesozoic contraction deformation in the Yanshan and northern Taihang mountains and its implications to the destruction of the North China Craton. Sci China Earth Sci, 54: 798–822CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Zhang G W, Zhang B R, Yuan X C, Xiao Q H. 2001. Qinling Orogeny and Continental Dynamics (in Chinese). Beijing: Science Press. 855Google Scholar
  68. Zhang H, Liu X M, Gao S, Zhang L J, Li Z T, Yang F L, Wang X C. 2005. Redefinition of the Zhangjiakou Formation in Lingyuan, western Liaoning and its significance-Constraints from Laser ICP-MS zircon UPb ages (in Chinese). Geol Bull China, 24: 110–117Google Scholar
  69. Zhang H R, Zhang Y K, Cai X M, Qu H J, Li H L, Wang M. 2013. The Triggering of Yanshanian movement: Yanshan Event (in Chinese). Acta Geol Sin, 87: 1779–1790Google Scholar
  70. Zhang S H, Zhao Y, Davis G A, Ye H, Wu F. 2014. Temporal and spatial variations of Mesozoic magmatism and deformation in the North China Craton: Implications for lithospheric thinning and decratonization. Earth-Sci Rev, 131: 49–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Zhang J, Li S Z, Li X Y, Zhao S J, Fu X H, Li S J, Lan H Y. 2017. Yanshanian deFormation of the Luxi area: tectonic response to the Paleo-Pacifc Plate subduction (in Chinese). Earth Sci Front, 24: 226–238Google Scholar
  72. Zhao Y. 1990. Mesozoic orogenic movement and structural evolution in Yanshan area (in Chinese). Geol Rev, 36: 1–12Google Scholar
  73. Zhao Y, Xu G, Zhang S H, Yang Z Y, Zhang Y Q, Hu J M. 2004a. Yanshanian movement and conversion of tectonic regimes in East Asia (in Chinese). Earth Sci Front, 11: 319–328Google Scholar
  74. Zhao Y, Zhang S H, Xu G, Yang Z Y, Zhang Y Q, Hu J M. 2004b. Major tectonic event in the Yanshanian intraplate deFormation belt in the Jurassic (in Chinese). Geol Bull China, 23: 854–863Google Scholar
  75. Zorin Y A. 1999. Geodynamics of the western part of the Mongolia–Okhotsk collisional belt, Trans-Baikal region (Russia) and Mongolia. Tectonophysics, 306: 33–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Zorin Y A, Belichenko V G, Turutanov E K, Mazukabzov A M, Sklyarov E V, Mordvinova V V. 1995. The East Siberia Transect. Int Geol Rev, 37: 154–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Zhu R X, Chen L, Wu F Y, Liu J L. 2011. Timing, scale and mechanism of the destruction of the North China Craton. Sci China Earth Sci, 54: 789–797CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Zhu R X, Xu Y G, Zhu G, Zhang H F, Xia Q K, Zheng T Y. 2012. Destruction of the North China Craton. Sci China Earth Sci, 55: 1565–1587CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shaofeng Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chengfa Lin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiaobo Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qitian Zhuang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Earth Sciences and ResourcesChina University of Geosciences (Beijing)BeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of GeomechanicsChinese Academy of Geological SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations