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ESR geochronology of the Minjiang River terraces at Wenchuan, eastern margin of Tibetan Plateau, China

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The Minjiang River terrace along the Longmen Shan fault zone near Wenchuan, at the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, China, provides archives for tectonic activity and quaternary climate change. However, previous studies were not able to provide ages older than 100 ka due to the limitations of dating material or/and methods applied to date the fluvial sediments. In this study, we used the ESR signal of the Ti-Li center in quartz to obtain the ages of four higher terraces (T3-T6). According to the results, the terraces T3 to T6 were formed at 64±19 ka, 101±15 ka, 153±33 ka, and 423±115 ka, respectively. Combined with previous studies, these results indicate that the formations of all terraces correspond to glacial/interglacial transition periods, such as, T1-T5 being correlated to MIS2/1, MIS4/3, MIS5d/5c, and MIS6/5e respectively, while T6 probably to MIS12/11. According to these data, it is found that the average incision rate was significantly higher over the last 150 ka than that previous 100 ka (250 to 150 ka). As both tectonics and climate have affected the formation of these terraces, in addition to the overall uplifting of Tibetan Plateau, the regional uplift due to isostasy would be an additional tectonic factor in the formation of river terraces in the eastern margin of Ti-betan plateau.
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  • State Key Laboratory of Earthquake Dynamics, Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100029, China
  • Département de Préhistoire, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, UMR7194 du CNRS, 1 rue René Panhard, 75013 Paris, France
  • State Key Laboratory of Earthquake Dynamics, Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100029, China
  • State Key Laboratory of Earthquake Dynamics, Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100029, China
  • Schools of the Earth Science and Resource, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, 100083, China
  • Schools of the Earth Science and Resource, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, 100083, China
  • State Key Laboratory of Earthquake Dynamics, Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100029, China
  • Département de Préhistoire, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, UMR7194 du CNRS, 1 rue René Panhard, 75013 Paris, France
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