Science China Earth Sciences

, Volume 59, Issue 12, pp 2389–2410 | Cite as

Features and origin time of Mesozoic strike-slip structures in the Yilan-Yitong Fault Zone

  • ChengChuan Gu
  • Guang Zhu
  • MingJian Zhai
  • ShaoZe Lin
  • LiHong Song
  • Bei Liu
Research Paper


The NE-striking Yilan-Yitong Fault Zone (YYFZ) with a length of ca. 900 km is an important major fault zone in northeastern China. Its origin has been a controversial issue for a long time. Detailed field investigation and comprehensive analyses show that strike-slip faults or ductile shear belts exist as the origination structures on the both shoulders of the Cretaceous- Paleogene grabens. These strike-slip structures are dominated by brittle transcurrent faults, and appear as ductile shear belts only in the Weiyuanpu-Yehe and Shulan parts in the south and middle of the fault zone, respectively. The shear belts strike NE-SW and show steep mylonitic foliation and gentle mineral elongation lineation. Outcrop structures, microstructures and quartz c-axis fabrics demonstrate a sinistral shear sense with minor reverse component for the ductile shear belts. The microstructures suggest deformation temperatures of 400–450°C for the Weiyuanpu-Yehe shear belts and 350–400°C for the Shulan shear belt. A series of zircon U-Pb dating results for deformed and undeformed plutons or dikes in the shear belts constrain the strike-slip motion to the time between 160 and 126 Ma. It is further inferred from ages of main geological events in this region that the fault zone originated in the earliest Early Cretaceous. It is suggested therefore that the southern and middle parts of the Tan-Lu Fault Zone, which originated in Middle Triassic, propagated into northeastern China along the sinistral YYFZ under the earliest Early Cretaceous regional compression that is referred to as the Yanshan B event. The earliest Early Cretaceous initiation of the YYFZ results from both the high-speed oblique subduction of the Izanagi Plate and the final closure of the Mongol-Okhotsk Ocean, but the Izanagi Plate subduction played a major dynamic role in the fault zone origin.


Yilan-Yitong Fault Zone Origin structures Sinistral ductile shear belts Microstructures Earliest Early Cretaceous 


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We thank Dr. Li Quanzhong from the LA-ICP-MS Laboratory, Hefei University of Technology for his guidance and help in zircon dating, as well as Prof. Liu Junlai from the Rock Fabric Laboratory, China University of Geosciences (Beijing) for quartz c-axis fabric analysis. We give our sincerest thanks to Profs. Dong Yunpeng, Liu Yongjiang and Li Sanzhong for their constructive comments that improved the final version of the manuscript greatly. This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41472186, 91414301).

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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • ChengChuan Gu
    • 1
  • Guang Zhu
    • 1
  • MingJian Zhai
    • 1
  • ShaoZe Lin
    • 1
  • LiHong Song
    • 1
  • Bei Liu
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Resource and Environmental EngineeringHefei University of TechnologyHefeiChina

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