Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

The active fault belts in eastern Tibet margin inferred using magnetotellurics

Guoze Zhao, L. Wang, X. Chen, J. Tang, Z. Wan, Y. Zhan, Q. Xiao, J. Cai, J. Zhang, J. Wang


A magnetotelluric (MT) sounding has been carried out in the eastern margin of the Tibetan plateau. The survey
line is about 145 km long, trending in NEE direction and crossing the Daliangshan block in the eastern edge of
the Tibetan plateau. The field measurements acquired effective data of 68 sites. Through data processing and a
2-D inversion with consideration of topography, a 2-D electrical structure model of crust and upper mantle was
constructed. The structure reveals that there is a deep electrical boundary between the Daliangshan block in the
west and Sichuan block in the east. West to the boundary, the crust has a relatively low resistivity with respect to the east and can be divided into three layers, the middle layer has low-resistivity with a minimum of 3-10 Ω·m, presumably associated with partial melt and/or salty fluids. Beneath the intersection area of the Anninghe fault, the Xianshuihe fault and the Longmenshan fault, which the MT profile crosses, the faults are separated into upper and lower sections. The upper section exhibits a nearly vertical low-resistivity zone in the upper crust, and the lower section manifests an electrical boundary in the lower crust and upper mantle. Other faults in the Daliangshan block are either nearly vertical low-resistivity zones or electrical boundaries. It is suggested that the formation of the low-resistivity layer in the middle crust is associated with the southeastward motion of the eastern margin of the Tibetan plateau, clockwise rotation of the Chuandian (Sichuan-Yunnan) block, and the westward obstruction from the Sichuan block in Huanan terrain. Seismicity, including the M 8.0 Wenchuan earthquake in the study area, is discussed.

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