Present-Day Crustal Deformation in China Constrained by Global Positioning System Measurements

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Science  19 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5542, pp. 574-577
DOI: 10.1126/science.1063647

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Global Positioning System (GPS) measurements in China indicate that crustal shortening accommodates most of India's penetration into Eurasia. Deformation within the Tibetan Plateau and its margins, the Himalaya, the Altyn Tagh, and the Qilian Shan, absorbs more than 90% of the relative motion between the Indian and Eurasian plates. Internal shortening of the Tibetan plateau itself accounts for more than one-third of the total convergence. However, the Tibetan plateau south of the Kunlun and Ganzi-Mani faults is moving eastward relative to both India and Eurasia. This movement is accommodated through rotation of material around the eastern Syntaxis. The North China and South China blocks, east of the Tibetan Plateau, move coherently east-southeastward at rates of 2 to 8 millimeters per year and 6 to 11 millimeters per year, respectively, with respect to the stable Eurasia.

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