Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2024-43
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2024-43
18 Jun 2024
 | 18 Jun 2024
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal CP.

Rapid topographic growth of the Diancang Shan, southeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau since 5.0–3.5 Ma

Chunxia Zhang, Haibin Wu, Xiuli Zhao, Yunkai Deng, Yunxia Jia, Wenchao Zhang, Shihu Li, and Chenglong Deng

Abstract. As a crucial geological, climatic, and ecological boundary in the southeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau (SEMTP), the topographic evolution of the Diancang Shan (DCS) remains unclear due to the lack of direct constraints on its paleoelevation. Here, we quantitatively reconstructed changes in annual mean temperature (ANNT) based on palynological data from the terrestrial Dasongping section (~7.6–1.8 Ma) in the Dali Basin, located at the northeastern margin of the DCS in Yunnan Province, China. Integrating the thermochronological data from the eastern and southern margins of DCS, we have clarified the paleotopographic evolution of DCS during this period: the paleoelevation of DCS likely exceeded 2000 meters above sea level (m a.s.l.) due to initial normal faulting at ~7.6 Ma, possibly comparable to the current average elevation (~2200 m a.s.l.) of surrounding Dali Basin region. Significant growth occurred between ~5.0 Ma and ~3.5 Ma, with at least ~1000 meters uplift gain in the northern segment and up to ~2000 meters in the southern segment of DCS, caused by the intensification of normal faulting activities. Finally, the northern segment of DCS reached the elevation of ~3500 m a.s.l. after ~1.8 Ma. Our findings suggest that the quantitively ANNT reconstruction, combined with thermochronological and sedimentary data, can significantly improve constraint on the paleotopographic evolution of DCS.

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Chunxia Zhang, Haibin Wu, Xiuli Zhao, Yunkai Deng, Yunxia Jia, Wenchao Zhang, Shihu Li, and Chenglong Deng

Status: open (until 13 Aug 2024)

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Chunxia Zhang, Haibin Wu, Xiuli Zhao, Yunkai Deng, Yunxia Jia, Wenchao Zhang, Shihu Li, and Chenglong Deng
Chunxia Zhang, Haibin Wu, Xiuli Zhao, Yunkai Deng, Yunxia Jia, Wenchao Zhang, Shihu Li, and Chenglong Deng

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Short summary
Clarifying the paleoelevation changes of the Diancang Shan (DCS) is important for comprehending both tectonics and the climatic effects in the transition zone between the high Tibetan Plateau and the lower relief of East and South Asia. Our results show low elevations of the DCS between ~7.6 Ma and ~5.0 Ma, followed by significant uplift of 1000–2000 meters between ~5.0 Ma and ~3.5 Ma. It provides a novel method for reconstructing the paleoelevation of mountains like the DCS in orogenic belts.