Geomorphic Dating of Across-Fault Gully Incision Reveals Time-Invariant Late Quaternary Slip-Rates at the Eastern Termination of the Altyn Tagh Fault

Nimrod Wieler, Amit Mushkin, Huiping Zhang, Amir Sagy, Naomi Porat, Yuval Shmilovitz, Zhikun Ren, Feipeng Huang, Pilong Shi, Jinrui Liu, Eitan Shelef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Interpretation of fault slip-rates inferred from tectonically offset fluvial landforms is often limited by uncertainties associated with difficulties to explicitly date fluvial incision across the fault. Here, we employed morphology-based modeling to ameliorate this universal dating limitation for gullies that were differentially offset in a sinistral sense across the Altyn Tagh Fault near its eastern termination at ∼97°E. Using a stream-power erosion model with locally calibrated coefficients we calculated across-fault gully incision ages that decrease with offset magnitude, are up to threefold younger than the age of the terrace they incised and all-together point toward time-invariant slip. Luminescence dating of offset alluvial terraces at the same site suggests constant sinistral slip at 0.5 ± 0.1 mm/yr since 52 ± 4 ka. Our results suggest that the most juvenile phase of northeastward Pleistocene expansion of the Tibetan Plateau into previously stable parts of central Asia is marked by constant late Quaternary deformation rates.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GL096933
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume49
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 28 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. The Authors.

Funding

The authors thank two anonymous reviewers and the editors for insightful comments and suggestions that greatly improved the manuscript. This study was funded by joint Israel Science Foundation?National Science Foundation of China (ISF-NSFC) research grant # 2568/17 to HZ and AM. The authors thank two anonymous reviewers and the editors for insightful comments and suggestions that greatly improved the manuscript. This study was funded by joint Israel Science Foundation—National Science Foundation of China (ISF‐NSFC) research grant # 2568/17 to HZ and AM.

FundersFunder number
ISF‐NSFC2568/17
Israel Science Foundation?National Science Foundation of China
National Natural Science Foundation of China
Israel Science Foundation

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