Table 2.

Published estimates of the geological offsets on the Altyn Tagh Fault through the identification of piercing points across the fault

NumberPiercing point typeLongitude (°E)AgeOffset (km)Reference
1Magmatic belts (granodiorites)84–90Late Palaeozoicc. 500Peltzer & Tapponnier (1988)
2Basin offset94–95Mid-Miocene (16 Ma) to Recent69–90Wang (1997)
3Lacustrine shoreline87–92Mid-Jurassic (post-170 Ma)400 ± 60Ritts & Biffi (2000)
4Cenozoic thrusts92–95Late Eocene–Oligocene (c. 40–32 Ma)280 ± 30Yin & Harrison (2000)
5Eclogite facies88–93Early Palaeozoic c. 500 Ma400Zhang et al. (2001)
6Ophiolite and blueschist facies92–97Early Palaeozoic c. 500 Ma350Zhang et al. (2001)
7Cooling zones (40Ar/39Ar and AFT)89–92Early–Mid-Jurassic350 ± 100Sobel et al. (2001)
8Basin offset91–94Early Miocene320 ± 20Yue et al. (2001)
9Basin offset91–95Oligocene380 ± 60Yue et al. (2001)
10Palaeomagnetic rotation86–95Late Oligocene (24 Ma)500 ± 130Chen et al. (2002)
11Magmatic arc rocks92–96490–480 Ma370Gehrels et al. (2003)
12Clast provenance analysis90–92Early Miocene (23–16 Ma)0–165Yue et al. (2003)
13Tectonic boundary and batholiths82–86Early–Mid-Palaeozoic (518–384 Ma)475 ± 70Cowgill et al. (2003)
14Sandstone clast (zircon age) provenance92–96Oligocene360 ± 40Yue et al. (2005)
  • Piercing points are numbered and refer to labels of estimates used in Figure 13. The type of piercing point is given, in addition to the current longitudinal range over which the feature is offset. The age and offset (km) are listed with error estimates provided by the relevant researcher. Estimates of total offset span the Phanerozoic and appear to be consistent around 400 km for much of this time-span, indicating no early initiation of slip along the Altyn Tagh Fault in the Mesozoic. However, relatively recent motion has occurred as recorded by the reduced offset of Miocene sediments. Additionally, these relatively small offsets imply a low slip rate of the Altyn Tagh Fault since the Mid-Miocene, with a maximum around 10 mm a−1 (Yue et al. 2003).