The Central Asian Orogenic Belt

Geology, Evolution, Tectonics, and Models

Ed.: Alfred Kröner

2015. 313 pages, 109 figures, 2 tables, 18x25cm, 910 g
Language: English

(Beiträge zur regionalen Geologie der Erde, Band 32)

ISBN 978-3-443-11033-8, bound, price: 118.00 €

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Altaidsmesozoiccenozoicterranekazhakstankyrgizstansiberiamongoliauralsgeologystructuremineral resources


Synopsis top ↑

This volume provides a state-of-the-art account of the geology of part of Central Asia named The Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB). This Belt formed by accretion of island arcs, ophiolites, oceanic islands, seamounts, accretionary wedges, oceanic plateaux and microcontinents (c. 1000–250 Ma ago) by similar processes to those in the circum- Pacific Mesozoic–Cenozoic accretionary orogens. Also known as Altaids, this region is one of the largest orogenic belts on Earth, extending from the Ural Mountains in the West to far eastern Siberia.

It is the product of a complex evolution lasting for more than 800 million years from the latest Mesoproterozoic to the end of the Palaeozoic. The CAOB consists of numerous accreted terranes, made up of island arcs, oceanic plateaux and islands, Precambrian microcontinents and remnants of oceanic crust that are preserved as fragmented ophiolites. Although the broad history of this huge territory is now reasonably well understood there are still major unanswered questions such as the rate and volume of crustal growth, the origin of continental fragments, the detailed mechanism of accretion and collision, the role of terrane rotations during the orogeny, and the age and composition of the lower crust in Central Asia.

Large parts of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Siberia and parts of Mongolia) treated in this volume have only been poorly covered in scholarly western publications. Most contributions of this book are by Russian scientists actively involved in field and laboratory research of the CAOB and therefore have an intimate knowledge of the terranes which they describe and analyze.

In view of the increasing significance of Central Asia because of its wealth of mineral resources this volume is of interest to readers from all fields of the geosciences and from academics to industry.

Inhaltsbeschreibung top ↑

Dieser Band enthält eine aktuelle Beschreibung der Geologie des zentralasiatischen Orogengürtels (CAOB - Central Asian Orogenic Belt). Dieser Gürtel bildete sich in Zentralasien vor ca. 1000-250 Ma durch die Akkretion von Inselbögen, Ophioliten, Tiefseeinseln, Unterwasserbergen, Akkretionskeilen, Ozeanplateaus bzw. Mikrokontinenten, ähnlich wie die zirkumpazifischen mesozoisch-känozoischen akkretionären Orogene. Dieses Gebiet, auch bekannt als Altaiden, ist einer der größten Gebirgsgürtel der Erde. Er erstreckt sich vom Ural im Westen bis ins fernöstliche Siberien.
Das Gebiet entstand durch eine komplexe Evolution, die mehr als 800 Mio. Jahre vom letzten Mesoproterozoikum bis zum Ende des Paleozoikums dauerte. Der CAOB besteht aus zahlreichen angelagerten Terranen, die sich aus Inselbögen, Ozeanplateaus, präkambrischen Mikrokontinenten und Überresten der ozanischen Kruste, die als Ophiolitensplitter erhalten sind, bildeten.
Über große Teile Zentralasiens (Kasachstan, Kirgisistan, Siberien und Teile der Mongolei), die in diesem Band behandelt werden, gibt es bislang kaum westliche wissenschaftliche Publikationen. Die Mehrzahl der Beiträge in diesem Band sind von russischen Wissenschaftlern, die aktiv in der CAOB-Feld- und Labor-Forschung tätig sind und deshalb auch profunde Kenntnisse über die Terrane, die sie beschreiben und analysieren, haben.
In Anbetracht der zunehmenden Bedeutung Zentralasiens aufgrund seines Reichtums an Bodenschätzen ist dieser Band von Interesse für Leser aus allen Bereichen der Geowissenschaften - sowohl in der Wissenschaft als auch in der Industrie.

Book Review: The Leading Edge (SEG) volume 36, Issue 7, July 2017 top ↑

The Central Asian Orogenic Belt, a hard-cover monograph, starts with an introductory paper by the book's editor, Alfred Kröner, and is followed by nine contributed papers by 19 authors and coauthors. The Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) is a vast region, starting from east of the Ural Mountains, including Kazakhstan and the Mongol region, south of Siberia, northeast of China (Manchuria) and to the Russian Far East, bounded by the Intermediate and North China Craton.
The second paper, by Biske, discusses the geology and the geodynamic evolution of the western part of the CAOB. The third paper, by Kirscher and Bachtadse, reviews the Paleozoic paleomagnetism of more or less the same region. The “Summary” section shows the paleotectonic scenario of the area surrounded by the Baltica, Siberia, Karakum, and Tarim basins. The fourth paper, by Kuzmichev, discusses the Neoproterozoic accretion of the Precambrian Tuva-Mongolian Massif, which is a relatively small area of the CAOB. The next paper, by Buslov and de Grave, discusses the tectonics and geodynamics of the Altai-Sayan fold belt, which is situated in the central part of the CAOB, extending from the Tarim Basin on the south to the Siberian Craton on the north, forming the largest accretionary orogen in the world.
The sixth paper, by Gladkochub, Donskaya, and Mazukabzov, discusses the geology and tectonics of the western Transbaikalian segment of the CAOB, having geologic age ranges from Neoproterozoic to Early Paleozoic. The seventh paper, by Wilde et al., covers the largest region of the CAOB, including northeast China and adjacent regions in the Russian Far East, which is also sometimes called the Altaid Tectonic Collage (Sengor et al., 1993). The eighth paper, by Khanchuk et al., discusses the structure and evolution of the Mongol-Okhotsk region of the CAOB, which is a relatively small and narrow zone along Russian Siberia. The last paper, by Wilhem and Windley, summarizes the tectonics of the Altaids of central Asia.
This ambitious monograph has attempted to assemble a state-of-the-art account of the geology and tectonics of a vast region. However, many parts of the CAOB are not covered or discussed, and they may have to be surveyed and mapped in the future. The papers in this monograph present detailed geology, tectonics, and/or structural geologic details of select areas, but there is very little geophysical information to support the various authors' final models and conclusions.
The third paper, by Kirscher and Bachtadse, includes available paleomagnetic data from Paleozoic rocks in the southern parts of the CAOB and proposes a simplified paleotectonic scenario of the Paleozoic deformation pattern of the study area. Several other papers mention how radiometric dating information was used to support their conclusions. Most papers in this monograph could have benefitted greatly if more geophysical survey and available information were included and utilized.
One odd feature is that each paper in this monograph does not have a bibliography section, but rather there is a list of references for the entire monograph at the end of the book. Even though the reference list at the end appears to be extensive, some students who read specific papers may find it inconvenient. Overall, however, this is a good reference book for those who want to learn about the geology and tectonics of the CAOB.

Wooil M. Moon, University of Manitoba

The Leading Edge Volume 36, Issue 7, July 2017 (SEG Society of Exploration - Geophysicists)

Table of Contents top ↑

Kröner, A.
The Central Asian Orogenic Belt – Present knowledge and comparison with the SW Pacific 1
Biske, Yu.S.
Geology and evolution of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt in Kazakhstan and the western Tianshan 6
Kirscher, U. and Bachtadse, V.
Palaeozoic palaeomagnetism of the southwestern segment of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt – A critical review 50
Kuzmichev, A.B.
Neoproterozoic accretion of the Tuva-Mongolian massif, one of the Precambrian terranes in the Central Asian Orogenic Belt 66
Buslov, M.M. and De Grave, J.
Tectonics and geodynamics of the Altai–Sayan Foldbelt (southern Siberia) 93
Gladkochub, D.P., Donskaya, T.V., Mazukabzov, A.M.
Palaeozoic–Mesozoic geology and tectonics of the western Transbaikalian segment of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt 154
Wilde, S.A., Zhou, J.-B. and Wu, F.-Y.
Development of the North-Eastern Segment of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt 184
Khanchuk, A.I., Didenko, A.N., Popeko, L.I., Sorokin, A.A., Shevchenko, B.F.
Structure and Evolution of the Mongol-Okhotsk Orogenic Belt 211
Wilhem, C. and Windley, B.F.
Tectonic synopsis of the Altaids of Central Asia 235
Cunningham, D.
Late Cenozoic crustal reactivation and mountain building in the Gobi Corridor region of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt 253
References for the entire volume 263
Location index 309
Subject index 311