New constraints on the structure, thermochronology, and timing of the Ailao Shan-Red River shear zone, SE Asia

TitleNew constraints on the structure, thermochronology, and timing of the Ailao Shan-Red River shear zone, SE Asia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsLeloup P H, Arnaud N, Lacassin R, Kienast J-R, Harrison T M, Phan Trong T, Replumaz A, Tapponnier P
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth
Date PublishedApr
ISBN Number0148-0227
Accession NumberWOS:000167920500024

New structural, petrographic, and Ar-40/Ar-39 data constrain the kinematics of the ASRR (Ailao Shan-Red River shear zone). In the XueLong Shan (XLS), geochronological data reveal Triassic, Early Tertiary, and Oligo-Miocene thermal events. The latter event (33-26Ma) corresponds to cooling during left-lateral shear. In the FanSiPan (FSP) range, thrusting of the SaPa nappe, linked to left-lateral deformation, and cooling of the FSP granite occurred at approximate to 35Ma. Rapid cooling resumed at 25-29Ma as a result of uplift within the transtensive ASRR. In the DayNuiConVoi (DNCV), foliation trends NW-SE, but is deflected near large-scale shear planes. Stretching lineation is nearly horizontal. On steep foliations, shear criteria indicate left-lateral shear sense. Zones with flatter foliations show compatible shear senses. Petrographic data indicate decompression from approximate to6:5kbar during left-lateral shear (temperatures >700 degreesC). Ar-40/Ar-39 data imply rapid cooling from above 350 degreesC to below 150 degreesC between 25 and 22Ma without diachronisin along strike. Along the whole ASRR cooling histories show two main episodes: (1) rapid cooling from peak metamorphism during left-lateral shear; (2) rapid cooling from greenschist conditions during right-lateral reactivation of the ASRR. In the NW part of the ASRR (XLS, Diancang Shan), we link rapid cooling 1 to local denudations in a transpressive environment. In the SW part (Ailao Shan and DNCV), cooling 1 resulted from regional denudation by zipper-like tectonics in a transtensive regime. The induced cooling diachronism observed in the Ailao Shan suggests left-lateral rates of 4 to 5 cmiyr from 27Ma until approximate to 17Ma. DNCV rocks always stayed in a transtensive regime and do not show cooling diachronism. The similarities of deformation kinematics along the ASRR and in the South China Sea confirms the causal link between continental strike-slip faulting and marginal basin opening.