Cao co-writes paper in GSA Bulletin on high-pressure metamorphic rocks in Tibetan Plateau

Roger Coda
Dr. Wentao Cao, Geology major

Dr. Wentao Cao

Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences Assistant Professor Wentao Cao is a co-author of a new research paper, “Lithospheric extension of the accretionary wedge: An Example from the Lanling High-Pressure Metamorphic Terrane in Central Qiangtang, Tibet,” published in the journal GSA Bulletin.

In the research paper, Dr. Cao and co-authors from China University of Geosciences (Beijing) and Australian National University address the exhumation tectonics of high-pressure metamorphic terrane in Central Qiangtang in Tibetan Plateau. The authors utilized a multidisciplinary approach integrating field geology, petrological examination, thermodynamic modeling and geo- and thermo-chronological dating on exhumed rock specimens.

Field geological survey indicates low-angle detachment faults separates the high-pressure domain from areas at shallower crustal level. Petrological examination shows synexhumation mineral growth, with thermodynamic modeling further constraining a clockwise pressure-temperature trajectory.

Geochronological and thermochronological dating indicates a continuous exhumation from 215 to 244 million years ago, prior to the continental collision between North Qiangtang and South Qiangtang. The authors concluded that the Central Qiangtang formed in an autochthonous accretionary wedge and exhumed along the interface.

The research was supported partially by the open research project to Cao from China University of Geosciences as was another collaborative paper with Dr. Xiao Liang in the university. The GSA Bulletin paper can be viewed online.

GSA Bulletin is the premier scholarly journal of the Geological Society of America and has been published continuously since 1890.

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