Active Tectonics of the Southeastern Tibetan Plateau

Project Details


The Tibetan plateau was created as the result of Indian subcontinent’s collision since theEarly Cenozoic. Due to the rapid eastward flow of lower crust from the central Tibet toward eastand southeast, result into surface extension and slower flow in the upper crust. These differentialdeformation patterns bear an important implication to the tectonic evolution of Tibetan plateauand its neighboring regions as well. There are many previous studies explaining the formationmechanism of the Tibet plateau, but so far those studies or models are still unable to fullyexplain the deformation behavior of the Tibetan Plateau and adjacent areas.In order to understand the processes and mechanism leading to the formation of Tibetplateau, a detail reconstruction of the deformation patterns and uplift rate across the wide rangeof temporal and spatial scales is require. The study area in this project includes: 1) crustalextensional rifts within the Tibetan plateau, 2) clockwise movement of the crustal blocks aroundthe eastern Himalayan syntaxis, 3) a major tectonic feature separating the South China andIndochina block, the Red River Fault System, 4) intersection area of the Longmenshan thrustbelt and the Xianshuihe Fault System, 5) and the Longmenshan mountain system itself.That project has been for many years. In order to obtain more information of the escapingstructure of the southeastern Tibetan plateau, we add eastern Himalayan area, the XianshuiheFault System, and the Red River Fault System in this year. The research methods includes threemain parts: 1) geomorphic analysis, 2) surface deformation analysis, and 3) fault stress analysis.The aim of the project is to understand the dynamic mechanism and tectonic evolution of theTibetan plateau and adjacent areas, to establish the regional tectonic evolution model.
Effective start/end date1/08/1731/07/18

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • Tibetan plateau
  • Yadong-Gulu rift
  • Red River Fault
  • Xianshuihe Fault
  • Danba area
  • Nagaland
  • Longmenshan fold-and-thrust belt
  • tectonics


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