Seismic image of the Tarim basin and its collision with Tibet

Honn Kao, Rui Gao, Ruey-Juin Rau, Danian Shi, Rong Yuh Chen, Ye Guan, Francis T. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)


A broadband seismic deployment in 1998-1999 in southwestern Tarim provided data for imaging the crust and upper mantle across the contact between the Tarim block and the Tibetan Plateau. A profile composed of migrated teleseismic receiver functions clearly shows lateral structural changes. The crust under the Tarim basin is relatively simple. The Moho discontinuity is mapped at a depth of 42 km near the northern end of the array and dips gently toward the south to ∼50 km under the Kunlun foreland. The Tarim basin appears to be rigid, with little shortening. Farther to the south, the imaging reveals a complex of reflectors in the lower crust and the upper mantle. There are both north- and south-dipping upper mantle structures under the Kunlun foreland and Kunlun Shan region. We found the observations to be more consistent with a model of lithospheric collision in which the crust and the upper mantle on both sides interpenetrate and deform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-578
Number of pages4
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jul 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology

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