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Expansion of the Tibetan Plateau during the Neogene Public Deposited

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  • The appearance of detritus shed from mountain ranges along the northern margin of the Tibetan Plateau heralds the Cenozoic development of high topography. Current estimates of the age of the basal conglomerate in the Qaidam basin place this event in Paleocene-Eocene. Here we present new magnetostratigraphy and mammalian biostratigraphy that refine the onset of basin fill to ∼25.5 Myr and reveal that sediment accumulated continuously until ∼4.8 Myr. Sediment provenance implies a sustained source in the East Kunlun Shan throughout this time period. However, the appearance of detritus from the Qilian Shan at ∼12 Myr suggests emergence of topography north of the Qaidam occurred during the late Miocene. Our results imply that deformation and mountain building significantly post-date Indo-Asian collision and challenge the suggestion that the extent of the plateau has remained constant through time. Rather, our results require expansion of high topography during the past 25 Myr.
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  • Wang, W., Zheng, W., Zhang, P. et al. Expansion of the Tibetan Plateau during the Neogene. Nat Commun 8, 15887 (2017) doi:10.1038/ncomms15887
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  • 8
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