How did Tianzhushan Form?
Category:Evolution History of Geosites

In the past of 1.8 billion years, Tianzhushan area has undergone crustal movements and dramatic changes, which constitutes the history of geological evolution. 1.8 billion years ago in Paleoproterozoic era, Tianzhushan area, located between the Yangtze Plate and the North China Plate, was a vast ocean. Sedimentary rocks formed with intrusion of magma.

About 800 million years ago in Neoproterozoic era, due to the upwelling of Earth mantle and strong magmation, a large number of the original rocks of granitic gneiss formed.

About 240 million years ago in Middle Triassic epoch, the Yangtze Plate subducted under the North China Plate in about 80-120 km deep under the ground. As a result of high temperature and ultrahigh pressure in the mantle, the rock underwent metamorphism and formed UHP metamorphic rocks containing coesite or diamond.

During the period from 230 million to 200 million years ago, the Yangtze Plate was taken apart through UHP metamorphism and then the upper rocks swiftly moved from the 80 km depth up to the 30 km deep under the ground.

128 million years ago in early Cretaceous, the Yanshan movement caused hot magma from the lower part of the Earth’s crust to intrude up deep Earth’s crust thousands of meters away from the Earth’s surface, ultimately forming “underground Tianzhushan”.

About 60 million years ago in Paleogene period, the Tancheng-Lujiang Fault Zone intersecting Tianzhushan area was continuously active affected by the movement of Pacific Plate. As a result, the western Tianzhushan uplifted, exposing granite mass and UHP metamorphic zone, while the eastern side sank to form Qianshan Basin, which provided favorable conditions for animal life and plant growth, and many mammals lived there.

Starting from 23 million years ago in Neogene period, Mountain Tianzhu was intermittently uplifted as a result of Himalayan orogenic movement and Tancheng-Lujiang fault zone. Under the effects of weathering and erosion, today’s granite landform of Tianzhushan formed.

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