Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Unified Mountain and Basin-Building Mechanism

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_2641

Orogenesis and basin formation can be reconciled in a unified dynamic model. Based on studies of typical regions, such as the Qinling-Weihe Basin and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Chinese scientists have proposed a unified mechanism of post-compression tension, fault blocks, and balanced mountain- and basin-building, which can be summarized as follows: (1) Intense Mesozoic compression caused the occurrence of large-scale ‘mantle uplift’ and ‘mantle depression’. (2) Compression began to weaken, and through the effect of gravitational equilibrium, the areas of mantle depression became mountains, while the adjacent regions of mantle uplift became basins. (3) Cenozoic orogenesis and basin building occurred due to tensile effects and were expressed in the form of fault blocks. This model can adequately explain the geological features of the Qinling-Weihe Basin and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. This unified mechanism has three main characteristics: (1) It groups multiple elements (compressional...

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