Constraining the denudation process in the eastern Sichuan Basin, China using low-temperature thermochronology and vitrinite reflectance data


The temperature history of samples and maximum palaeogeothermal profiles of boreholes were reconstructed based on low-temperature thermochronology and vitrinite reflectance data, and the results provide limits for the timescale and amount of uplift–denudation of the eastern Sichuan Basin. The thermal history showed that the uplifting and cooling of eastern Sichuan Basin began around the Late Cretaceous (approximately 100–80 Ma). The region had experienced a continuous cooling process from the Late Cretaceous until the present, with the geothermal gradient decreasing from 32–36 °C/km to 20–23 °C/km. The amount of denudation at the Puguang region in north-eastern Sichuan was approximately 2.3 km, whereas that at south-eastern Sichuan was 1.9 km, and the erosion thickness in the eastern Sichuan fold belt that was revealed via the field samples is 2.3 ± 0.3–2.6 ± 0.3 km. The north-eastern Sichuan experienced sustained cooling with inconspicuous fluctuations, whereas the thrust belt and the south-eastern Sichuan Basin presented 2–4 stages with different cooling rates. It may indicate that the eastern Sichuan fold belt experienced a complex structural evolution, characterized by episodic upliftings and deformations since Late Cretaceous, while a different and gentle deformation took place in the northeastern Sichuan Basin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *