Continental strike-slip rifts and their stratigraphic signature: Application to the Bangong/Nujiang zone (Tibet) and the South Penninic zone (Alps)

F. Mattern, W. Schneider, P. Wang, C. Li

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Our literature studies show that the thermal regime along continental strike-slip rifts is inconspicuous and that they are "low-volcanicity rifts" at best. Along with that, young continental strike-slip rifts exhibit no signs of major thermally controlled doming. We suggest that the larger the strike-slip component of a rift is, the less likely major thermal doming is causally associated with the rift zone. Since vertical lithosphere movements are reflected in the stratigraphic record of a rifted area, different rift modes (strike-slip, dip-slip) may be distinguished by analyzing the relevant sequences. Two ancient and especially suitable strike-slip rift margins in Tethyan mountain belts, the Bangong/Nujiang zone of Tibet and the South Penninic zone of the Alps, were analyzed with regard to their uplift history. The results confirm recent regional rift models which indicate in both cases that rifting was dominated by strike-slip. The stratigraphic approach may provide significant clues as to the mode of paleorifting when structural data are unavailable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-224
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998



  • Alps
  • Bangong/Nujiang
  • Continental dip-slip rifting
  • Continental strike-slip rifting
  • Dead Sea transform
  • Heat flow
  • Pantelleria rift
  • Romanche transform
  • San Andreas transform
  • South Penninic zone
  • Suez rift
  • Thermal doming
  • Thermal regime
  • Tibet
  • Uplift
  • Zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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