The Qilian Orogen Zone (QOZ), located in the north margin of the Tibetan Plateau, is the key area for understanding the deformation and dynamics process of Tibet. Numerous geological and geophysical studies have been carried out on the mechanics of the Tibetan Plateau deformation and uplift; however, the detailed structure and deformation style of the Qilian Orogen Zone have remained uncertain due to poor geophysical data coverage and limited resolution power of inversion algorithms. In this study, we analyze the P-wave velocity structure beneath the Qilian Orogen Zone, obtained by applying multi-scale seismic tomography technique to P-wave arrival time data recorded by regional seismic networks. The seismic tomography algorithm used in this study employs sparsity constraints on the wavelet representation of the velocity model via L1-norm regularization. This algorithm can deal efficiently with uneven-sampled volumes, and obtain multi-scale images of the velocity model. Our results can be summarized as the follows: (1) The crustal velocity structure is strongly inhomogeneous and consistent with the surface geological setting. Significant low-velocity anomalies exist in the crust of northeastern Tibet, and slight high-velocity anomalies exist beneath the Qaidam Basin and Alxa terrane; (2) The Qilian Orogen Zone can be divided into two main parts by the Lajishan Faults: the northwestern part with a low-velocity feature, and the southeastern part with a high-velocity feature at the upper and middle crust; (3) Our tomographic images suggest that northwestern and southeastern Qilian Orogen Zones have undergone different tectonic processes. In the northwest Qilian Orogen Zone, the deformation and growth of the Northern Tibetan Plateau has extended to the Helishan and Beidashan region by northward over-thrusting at the upper crust and thickening in the lower crust. We speculate that in the southeast Qilian Orogen Zone the deformation and growth of the Northern Tibet Plateau were of strike-slip style at the upper crust; in the lower crust, the evidence suggests ductile shear extrusion style and active frontage extension to the Alxa terrane. (4) The multi-scale seismic tomography technique provides multi-scale analysis and sparse constraints, which has allowed to us obtain stable, high-resolution results.
The unique geographical location and high altitude of the Tibetan Plateau can greatly influence regional weather and climate. In particular, the Asian summer monsoon (ASM) anticyclone circulation system over the Tibetan Plateau is recognized to be a significant transport pathway for water vapor and pollutants to enter the stratosphere. To improve understanding of these physical processes, a multi-location joint atmospheric experiment was performed over the Tibetan Plateau from late July to August in 2018, funded by the five-year (2018–2022) STEAM (stratosphere and troposphere exchange experiment during ASM) project, during which multiple platforms/instruments—including long-duration stratospheric balloons, dropsondes, unmanned aerial vehicles, special sounding systems, and ground-based and satellite-borne instruments—will be deployed. These complementary methods of data acquisition are expected to provide comprehensive atmospheric parameters (aerosol, ozone, water vapor, CO2, CH4, CO, temperature, pressure, turbulence, radiation, lightning and wind); the richness of this approach is expected to advance our comprehension of key mechanisms associated with thermal, dynamical, radiative, and chemical transports over the Tibetan Plateau during ASM activity.
In this paper, the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF) is used to simulate the real-time response of the magnetosphere to a solar wind event on June 5, 1998, in which the interplanetary magnetic field shifted its direction from north to south. Since most current models do not take into account convective effects of the inner magnetosphere, we first study the importance of Rice Convection Model (RCM) in the global model. We then focus on the following four aspects of the magnetosphere’s response: the magnetosphere’s density distribution, the structure of its magnetic field lines, the area of the polar cap boundary, and the corresponding ionospheric current change. We find that (1) when the IMF changes from north to south in this event, high magnetosheath density is observed to flow downstream along the magnetopause with the solar wind; low-latitude reconnection at dayside occurs under the southward IMF, while the magnetic field lines in the tail lobe caudal, caused by the nightside high latitude reconnection, extend into the interplanetary space. Open magnetic field lines exist simultaneously at both high and low latitudes at the magnetopause; (2) the area of the polar cap is obviously increased if the IMF turns from the north to the south; this observation is highly consistent with empirical observations; (3) the ionospheric field align current in the northern hemisphere is stronger than in the southern hemisphere and also increases as the IMF changes from north to south. SWMF with the Rice Convection effect provides reliable modeling of the magnetospheric and ionospheric response to this solar wind variation.
A new combined Fermi, betatron, and turbulent electron acceleration mechanism is proposed in interaction of magnetic islands during turbulent magnetic reconnection evolution in explosive astrophysical phenomena at large temporal-spatial scale (LTSTMR), the ratio of observed current sheets thickness to electron characteristic length, electron Larmor radius for low-β and electron inertial length for high-β, is on the order of 1010–1011; the ratio of observed evolution time to electron gyroperiod is on the order of 107–109). The original combined acceleration model is known to be one of greatest importance in the interaction of magnetic islands; it assumes that the continuous kinetic-dynamic temporal-spatial scale evolution occurs as two separate independent processes. In this paper, we reconsider the combined acceleration mechanism by introducing a kinetic-dynamic-hydro full-coupled model instead of the original micro-kinetic or macro-dynamic model. We investigate different acceleration mechanisms in the vicinity of neutral points in magnetic islands evolution, from the stage of shrink and breakup into smaller islands (kinetic scale), to the stage of coalescence and growth into larger islands (dynamic scale), to the stages of constant and quasi-constant (contracting-expanding) islands (hydro scale). As a result, we give for the first time the acceleration efficiencies of different types of acceleration mechanisms in magnetic islands’ interactions in solar atmosphere LTSTMR activities (pico-, 10–2–105 m; nano-, 105–106 m; micro-, 106–107 m; macro-, 107–108 m; large-, 108–109 m).
The quantitative interpretation of gravity anomalies due to shallow structures needs separation between long wavelength anomalies (regional anomalies) and short wavelength anomalies (residual anomalies). The regional-residual field separation can be carried out using the polynomial method. In this case, the so-called regional field of order n is treated as a polynomial of degree n. The present study shows that the degree n must vary between a smallest value nmin and a maximum value nmax. This article presents a method to process gravity data that allows determination of nmin and nmax for a given study area. We apply the method to gravity data of the South-West Cameroon zone. In this chosen study area, we find that regional anomaly maps of orders ranging from 1 to 9 and residual anomaly maps of orders ranging from 1 to 8 can be used for suitable interpretation. The analyses show that one may need residual anomaly maps of several orders to perform satisfactory quantitative interpretation of the different intrusive bodies found in a given area.
The Garoua Zone in North Cameroon, the subject of this study, is known to have undergone tectonic movements during the Cretaceous, but the zone’s structural data remain poorly known. This study exploits the Bouguer anomaly to improve knowledge of Garoua tectonics structures. In order to characterize these structures, two methods are used: Euler’s deconvolution method and the method of the horizontal gradient of the vertical derivative. Superposition of the Euler’s solutions map for index N=1 with the map from the horizontal gradient of the vertical derivative method allows determination of gravimetric lineaments, interpreted as faults or as linear contacts, from which we deduce a structural map of the study area. Based on this map, we identify sixteen lineaments, of which we count eight as linear contacts and eight as faults. Among the faults, we denote one of depth between 4 and 8 km, five faults of depth ranging between 8 and 13 km, and two faults of depths between 13 and 36 km. Analysis of these faults shows that the seven deepest faults might present a natural risk in our study area. For purposes of civil protection, such deep faults should be monitored and taken into consideration in the implementation of large public works. The structural map, established herein from data on the in-depth extension of each fault, thus increases scientific knowledge in the area that can be used to site public works in ways that reduce risk.
The link between the crustal deformation and mantle kinematics in the Tibetan Plateau has been well known thanks to dense GPS measurements and the relatively detailed anisotropy structure of the lithospheric mantle. However, whether the crust deforms coherently with the upper mantle in the Shan-Thai terrane (also known as the Shan-Thai block) remains unclear. In this study, we investigate the deformation patterns through strain rate tensors in the southeastern Tibetan Plateau derived from the latest GPS measurements and find that in the Shan-Thai terrane the upper crust may be coupled with the lower crust and the upper mantle. The GPS-derived strain rate tensors are in agreement with the slipping patterns and rates of major strike-slip faults in the region. The most prominent shear zone, whose shear strain rates are larger than 100×10–9 a–1, is about 1000-km-long in the west, trending northward along Sagaing fault to the Eastern Himalayan Syntaxis in the north, with maximum rate of compressive strain up to –240×10–9 a–1. A secondary shear zone along the Anninghe-Xiaojiang Fault in the east shows segmented shear zones near several conjunctions. While the strain rate along RRF is relatively low due to the low slip rate and low seismicity there, in Lijiang and Tengchong several local shear zones are present under an extensional dominated stress regime that is related to normal faulting earthquakes and volcanism, respectively. Furthermore, by comparing GPS-derived strain rate tensors with earthquake focal mechanisms, we find that 75.8% (100 out of 132) of the earthquake T-axes are consistent with the GPS-derived strain rates. Moreover, we find that the Fast Velocity Direction (FVDs) at three depths beneath the Shan-Thai terrane are consistent with extensional strain rate with gradually increasing angular differences, which are likely resulting from the basal shear forces induced by asthenospheric flow associated with the oblique subduction of the India plate beneath the Shan-Thai terrane. Therefore, in this region the upper crust deformation may be coherent with that of the lower crust and the lithospheric mantle.
We analyzed 360 permanent and campaign GPS data from 1999 to 2017 in the southern Sichuan-Yunan block, and obtained crustal horizontal deformation in this region. Then, we derived the strain rate using a multi-scale spherical wavelet method. Results reveal a complex pattern of tectonic movement in the southern Sichuan-Yunnan block. Compared to the stable Eurasian plate, the maximum rate of the horizontal deformation in the southern Sichuan-Yunnan block is approximately 22 mm/a. The Xiaojiang fault shows a significantly lower deformation—a left-lateral strike-slip movement of 9.5 mm/a. The Honghe fault clearly shows a complex segmental deformation from the north to south. The northern Honghe fault shows 4.3 mm/a right strike-slip with 6.7 mm/a extension; the southern Honghe fault shows 1.9 mm/a right strike-slip with 1.9 mm/a extension; the junction zone in the Honghe and Lijiang–Xiaojinhe faults shows an obvious clockwise-rotation deformation. The strain calculation results reveal that the maximum shear-strain rate in this region reaches 70 nstrain/a, concentrated around the Xiaojiang fault and at the junction of the Honghe and Lijiang–Xiaojinhe faults. We note that most of the earthquakes with magnitudes of 4 and above that occurred in this region were within the high shear strain-rate zones and the strain rate gradient boundary zone, which indicates that the magnitude of strain accumulation is closely related to the seismic activities. Comparison of the fast shear-wave polarization direction of the upper-crust with the upper-mantle anisotropy and the direction of the surface principal compressive strain rate obtained from the inversion of the GPS data reveals that the direction of the surface principal compressive strain is basically consistent with the fast shear-wave polarization direction of the upper crust anisotropy, but different from the polarization direction of the upper mantle. Our results support the hypothesis that the principal elements of the deformation mechanism in the southern Sichuan-Yunnan block are decoupling between the upper and lower crust and ductile flow in the lower crust.
The Tibetan Plateau, known as " the roof of the world” and " the third pole of the earth”, is a product of the collision between India and Asia during the last ~50 Ma. The regional tectonics–in particular, growth and expansion of the plateau–has been attributed primarily to deformation within the lithosphere. The role and pattern of the underlying asthenospheric flow, however, remain mostly unaddressed. In light of recent seismic tomographic images and published seismic anisotropic descriptions of the upper mantle, here we propose that an entrained mantle flow is likely to exist under Tibet, induced by the northward advancing Indian plate. The direction of mantle flow is characterized by a gradual rotation from northward in the south to eastward in the north as a result of deflection by the deep root of the Tarim block. The presence of an underlying mantle flow is not only able to account for the west-east oriented fast-axis of seismic anisotropy in northern Tibet, but can also adequately explain the sporadic null splitting in southern Tibet. Specifically, the null splitting results, at least in part, from upwellings of asthenospheric flow through tears of the underthrusting Indian plate that have been revealed by various seismic observations. The mantle flow may in turn promote the block extrusion under Tibet that has been observed in GPS measurements; hot asthenospheric upwellings may also lead to widespread post-collisional magmatism in southern Tibet.
In the Southeast Margin of the Tibetan Plateau, low-velocity sedimentary layers that would significantly affect the accuracy of the H-κ stacking of receiver functions are widely distributed. In this study, we use teleseismic waveform data of 475 events from 97 temporary broadband seismometers deployed by ChinArray Phase I to obtain crustal thicknesses and Poisson’s ratios within the Chuxiong-Simao Basin and adjacent area, employing an improved method in which the receiver functions are processed through a resonance-removal filter, and the H-κ stacking is time-corrected. Results show that the crustal thickness ranges from 30 to 55 km in the study area, reaching its thickest value in the northwest and thinning toward southwest, southeast and northeast. The apparent variation of crustal thickness around the Red River Fault supports the view of southeastern escape of the Tibetan Plateau. Relatively thin crustal thickness in the zone between Chuxiong City and the Red River Fault indicates possible uplift of mantle in this area. The positive correlation between crustal thickness and Poisson’s ratio is likely to be related to lower crust thickening. Comparison of results obtained from different methods shows that the improved method used in our study can effectively remove the reverberation effect of sedimentary layers.