Pliocene-Quaternary crustal melting in central and northern Tibet and insights into crustal flow
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There is considerable controversy over the nature of geophysically recognized low-velocity-high-conductivity zones (LV-HCZs) within the Tibetan crust, and their role in models for the development of the Tibetan Plateau. Here we report petrological and geochemical data on magmas erupted 4.7-0.3 Myr ago in central and northern Tibet, demonstrating that they were generated by partial melting of crustal rocks at temperatures of 700-1,050 degrees C and pressures of 0.5-1.5 GPa. Thus Pliocene-Quaternary melting of crustal rocks occurred at depths of 15-50 km in areas where the LV-HCZs have been recognized. This provides new petrological evidence that the LV-HCZs are sources of partial melt. It is inferred that crustal melting played a key role in triggering crustal weakening and outward crustal flow in the expansion of the Tibetan Plateau.
Wang , Q , Hawkesworth , C J , Wyman , D , Chung , S-L , Wu , F-Y , Li , X-H , Li , Z-X , Gou , G-N , Zhang , X-Z , Tang , G-J , Dan , W , Ma , L & Dong , Y-H 2016 , ' Pliocene-Quaternary crustal melting in central and northern Tibet and insights into crustal flow ' Nature Communications , vol 7 , 11888 . DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11888
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Financial support for this research was provided by the Strategic Priority Research Program (B) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant no. XDB03010600), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (nos. 41025006 and 41421062), talent project of Guangdong Province (2014TX01Z079), GIGCAS 135 project 135TP201601, and the scientific and technical innovation intersection and cooperation team program of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
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