Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Article: The Welding of Shan-Thai

F. Hirsch, K. Ishida, T. Kozai, A. Meesook


The Shan-Thai Terrane is viewed as a remnant of paleo-Tethys in South East Asia. The more internal “Thai” elements of Shan-Thai, bordering with Indochina, are of Cathaysian type, while the more central part of the terrane is of transitional “Sibumasu” character. The external “Shan” elements of Shan-Thai that left Gondwana last have a clear cold-water imprint.Petrological and paleontological evidence corroborates the end Triassic – earliest Jurassic Late Indosinian orogeny, as the main Paleotethyan tectonic closure event. Its main axis consists of the Mae-Sariang Zone, which can be followed over Mae Sot to Kanchanaburi and Chanthaburi, from where it extends into southern Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia. Cenozoic Himalayan escape tectonics, alternating strike-slip movements and rotation severely compressed Shan-Thai, opened the Gulf of Thailand, disrupted the original alignment of the Mae Sariang zone and Gondwana-Tethys divide, and shaped the present tectonic configuration of SE Asia.- Geoscience journal: Vol. 10, No.3. p. 195-204, Sept. 2006

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