Oligo-Miocene magnetostratigraphy and rock magnetism of the Xishuigou section, Subei (Gansu Province, western China) and implications for shallow inclinations in central Asia


  • Stuart Gilder,

  • Yan Chen,

  • Sevket Sen


Magnetostratigraphy of 222 remanent directions together with late Oligocene to early Miocene mammal and charophyte paleontology suggest that 2179 m of the Xishuigou section (Subei, Gansu Province, China) were deposited from ∼26 to ∼19 Ma. Stratigraphic patterns of bulk susceptibility, anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility parameters, and natural and anhysteretic remanent magnetization intensities demonstrate that (1) faulting does not significantly affect the record, (2) sediment deposition was relatively continuous, (3) sediment source changed around 23 Ma, and (4) rapid uplift near Subei occurred at 21 Ma. Subei rotated 27°±5° counterclockwise with respect to the 20 Ma pole from the Eurasian synthetic apparent polar wander path. Folding and rotation of the section took place after 19 Ma. The paleolatitude of Subei is 14° less than at present and 19°±3° less than predicted from the reference pole. Both rock magnetic and paleomagnetic data sets suggest that the unusually low paleolatitude is the result of synsedimentary inclination shallowing, a phenomenon which has likely affected other paleomagnetic data from central Asia.