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Associate Researcher Zhang Huiping visited University of California Davis

2014/5/22 18:27:42

At the invitation of Associate Prof. Michael E. Oskin at University of California Davis and according to the 2013 external scientific and technological exchange and cooperation plan of the Department of International Cooperation, CEA, Associate Researcher Zhang Huiping of the Institute of Geology, CEA visited University of California Davis for exchange and study from March 15, 2013 to May 14, 2013.

Associate Researcher Zhang Huiping currently is responsible for a NSFC-funded project. The expenses in this period were covered by this project. During the visit, Zhang and American colleagues researched the earthquakes, active fractures and geomorphology of the Qilian Mountains on northeastern margin of the Tibetan plateau and analyzed the setting of major earthquakes and geomorphologic evolution and pattern in the area.

Since collision, convergence and orogenesis of the Eurasian plate and Indian Plate in Cenozoic, the Tibetan plateau has kept expanding and accreting towards the periphery in three dimensions and influenced and changed the climatic environment of the region, and even the global climate system. Meanwhile, the climate system changed the topographic features of orogenic zones. At present, although the dynamic mechanism for controlling the expansion and accretion process of the Tibetan plateauhas always been the bone of contention of domestic and foreign field of geoscience, it is widely accepted that the northeastern margin of the Tibetan plateau, particularly the area of the Qilian Mountains, is one of the front margins of the outward accretion and uplift expansion of the entire plateau, so the area of Qilian Mountain on the northeastern margin of Tibetan Plateau becomes one of the ideal areas for research of tectonic deformation and geomorphic evolution of active orogenic zones.

The Qilian Mountains–Hexi Corridor area is characterized by compressive basin-ridge tectonics. It is the youngest component of the Tibetan plateau with the strongest tectonic activity. Its tectonic deformation and geomorphic evolution is a window to know the dynamics of the Tibetan plateau and also a basic link to assess future seismic risk. Associate Researcher Zhang Huiping and Associate Prof. Michael E. Oskin have jointly surveyed terrace patterns and development characteristics of the Shiyou river, Beida river, Maying river and other range-front rivers of the Qilian River and carried out cognitive study on the Yumen fault, Fodongmiao – Hongyazi fault and Jintananshan fault inside the basin.

During the visit, Zhang Huiping and Associate Prof. Michael E. Oskin of University of California Davis studied and discussed the speed of active faults and spatial distribution of earthquakes in the region of Qilian Mountains and jointly wrote relevant papers which were submitted to SCImagazine “Terra Nova”. Now the manuscripts have been peer-reviewed and will be accepted after simple modification. The predetermined goal of the international cooperation and exchange program and project execution is fulfilled. In addition to the above indoor work, Associate Prof. Michael E. Oskin intentionally arranged Associate Prof. Zhang Huiping to a field practice of a course and to participate a joint study of fault landform and active characteristics of the San Andreas fault.

Through the visit and study, Zhang has improved hisunderstanding on the plateau uplift process and geomorphologic evolution, mountain uplift and its role in controlling river systems. The learning in a course and the cooperation with other members of an interest group made him further know the importance of teamwork. This visit provided a broader train of thought for his future research on earthquake geology and structural geology.