Tertiary diachronic extrusion and deformation of western Indochina: Structural and Ar-40/Ar-39 evidence from NW Thailand

TitleTertiary diachronic extrusion and deformation of western Indochina: Structural and Ar-40/Ar-39 evidence from NW Thailand
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsLacassin R, Maluski H, Leloup P H, Tapponnier P, Hinthong C, Siribhakdi K, Chuaviroj S, Charoenravat A
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research-Solid EarthJournal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth
Volume102
Pagination10013-10037
Date PublishedMay
ISBN Number0148-0227
Accession NumberWOS:A1997WY34700010
Abstract

The Wang Chao and Three Pagodas fault zones cut the western part of the Indochina block and run parallel to the Red River Fault. Evidence of intense ductile left-lateral shear is found in the Lansang gneisses which form a 5 km wide elongated core along the Wang Chao fault zone. Dating by Ar-40/Ar-39 shows that such deformation probably terminated around 30.5 Ma. The Wang Chao and Three Pagodas faults offset the north striking lower Mesozoic metamorphic and magmatic belt of northern Thailand. Ar-40/Ar-39 results suggest that this belt suffered rapid cooling in the Tertiary, probably around 23 Ma. These results imply that the extrusion of the southwestern part of Indochina occurred in the upper Eocene-lower Oligocene. It probably induced rifting in some basins of the Gulf of Thailand and in the Malay and Mekong basins. In the Oligo-Miocene, the continuing penetration of India into Asia culminated with the extrusion of all of Indochina along the Ailao Shan - Red River fault. This occurred concurrently with the onset of E-W extension more to the south. Plotting in a geographical reference frame the diachronic time spans of movement on left-lateral faults east and southeast of Tibet implies that the northward movement of the Indian indenter successively initiated new strike-slip faults located farther and farther north along its path.