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Cenozoic deformation of the Tarim Basin (Xinjiang, China) and impact on its current morpho-sedimentary landscape

Start: 01 October 2013

End: 29 September 2017

Amandine Laborde

Supervisor(s):
Yves Gaudemer, Laurie Barrier

Status: Sustained

Since its onset during the Paleogene, the India-Asia collision has led to the formation of some of the most impressive orogenic systems worldwide (Himalaya-Tibet, Central Asian Ranges). Following the onset of this collision, compressive deformation has propagated northward at continent-scale during the Cenozoic. Within this deformational context, the Tarim Basin has a particular position, in between the Himalaya-Tibet orogenic system to the south and the Tian Shan Range to the north. The Tarim Basin is usually considered as a rigid block prevented from deformation, so that it is expected to play a key role in transfering stresses northward into the continent, and more widely in the overall Central Asian deformation. A characterization of the structures and of the tectonic evolution of the Tarim Basin during the Cenozoic is thus necessary in order to further understand the deformation modalities at the scale of the Asian continent. In this PhD study, a novel and unique regional synthesis of the Cenozoic deformation of the Tarim Basin is retrieved at the scale of the whole basin. Thanks to structural and sedimentary data from the inner basin and its margins, Cenozoic tectonic structures and their timing of the deformation are determined and allow for identifying the role played by the Tarim in the propagation of deformation in Central Asia after the India- Asia collision. The consequences of this tectonic deformation on the present-day morpho- sedimentary landscape have also been analyzed to provide more constrains on the still-active structures of the basin.

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