Altyn Tagh defines the northern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, and plays an important role in understanding the rise and northward growth of the Tibetan Plateau. Its Cenozoic evolution remains controversial. The Ruoqiang depression in the SE Tarim Basin accumulated thick clastics sourced from the Altyn Tagh in the Cenozoic era, and thus bears important records concerning the Cenozoic uplift of the Altyn Tagh. In this paper, we studied the sedimentary facies and the sedimentary rates of the Cenozoic strata as well as their contact relationship in the Ruoqiang depression, based on newly obtained drilling data and high-resolution seismic reflection profiles. The result indicated that the Altyn Tagh was characterized by two-stage uplift since 34 Ma：Sustained weak uplift during 34～20.4 Ma and accelerated uplift since 16 Ma. We concluded that, together with previous studies, the sustained weak uplift of the Altyn Tagh in the first stage was caused by basal shear of the Altyn Tagh fault in the middle-lower crust; while the accelerated uplift in the second stage resulted from significantly lower strike-slip on the Altyn Tagh fault since the Mid-Miocene, which induced intense crustal shortening in the northern Tibetan Plateau.
Song Xingtong Cheng Xiaogan Lin Xiubin Gao Shibao. Cenozoic tectonic evolution of the Altyn Tagh: Evidence from sedimentary record in Ruoqiang depression of the southeastern Tarim Basin[J]. Chinese Journal of Geology, 2019, 54(2): 330-344.