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Tectonophysics: Late Quaternary paleoseismology of the Milin fault: Implications for active tectonics along the Yarlung Zangbo Suture, Southeastern Tibet Plateau

2018/3/27 15:31:46

How the eastward motion of crust in the central Tibetan Plateau is accommodated in the remote regions of the eastern Himalayan syntaxis remains uncertain. Although the Yarlung Zangbo suture (YZS) forms a striking lineament in the topography of the region, evidence for recent faulting along this zone has been equivocal. To understand whether faults along the YZS are active, we performed a geological investigation along the eastern segments of the YZS. Geomorphic observations suggest the presence of active faulting along several segments of the YZS, which we collectively refer to as the “Milin fault”. Paleoseismologic data from trenches reveal evidence for one faulting event, which is constrained to occur between 5620 and 1945 a BP. The latest faulting event displaced alluvial surface T2 by ~ 7 m. The offset on this earthquake place the minimum value on the vertical slip rate of ~ 0.3 mm/yr. Empirical relationships between surface rupture length, displacement and magnitude, suggest that magnitude of the latest event could have been Mw ~ 7.3–7.7. On the basis of this slip rate and the elapsed time since the last event, it is estimated that a seismic moment equivalent to Mw ~ 7.0 has been accumulated on the Milin fault. It is pose a threat to the surrounding region. Our results suggest that shortening occurs in the vicinity of the eastern Himalayan syntaxis, and part of eastward motion of crust from the central Tibetan Plateau is absorbed by uplift of the eastern Himalayan syntaxis.

Fig. 1. (A) Map of the eastern Himalayan syntaxis with the studied fault. (B) Geologic features and fault distribution along the Milin fault and adjacent region.

Fig. 2. Google earth image and photo around dislocated ridges, view NE.

Fig. 3. (A) Photograph mosaic and (B) the interpreted map of the southwest wall of the Mirui trench.

The above research findings are published in the international journal of geosciences Tectonophysics (Li K., X.W. Xu, Eric Kirby, F.T. Tang, W.J. Kang, 2018, Late Quaternary paleoseismology of the Milin fault: Implications for active tectonics along the Yarlung Zangbo Suture, Southeastern Tibet Plateau, Tectonophysics, (731-732):64-72, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2017.12.0260).

The article link:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0040195117305292#f0010