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.