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Find Your Science at GSA
31 October 2008
GSA Release No. 08-64
Christa Stratton
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach

Milestone Meeting in China Launches New GSA Special Paper

Boulder, CO, USA - A new Special Paper from the Geological Society of America covers the tectonics of the Tibetan and the Iranian plateaus. Chapters in this volume were first presented at the International Conference on Continental Dynamics and Environmental Change of the Tibetan Plateau from 18–21 June 2006, a milestone meeting sponsored by The Chinese Academy of Sciences; the Province of Qinghai, Xining, People’s Republic of China; and the Geological Society of America.

Of the conference and the ensuing Special Paper, volume editors B. Clark Burchfiel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Erchie Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences write, “We hope that it is a beginning for closer relations between American and Chinese geoscientists.”

Although most of the chapters in this Special Paper discuss areas in the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau, one concentrates on the complexity of the Cenozoic shear zones in Yunnan and one focuses on the late Cenozoic extensional tectonism along the western margin of the Iranian Plateau. Several chapters discuss aspects of Tibetan tectonics not covered in any other papers and arrive at unique interpretations.

Xining lies within one of the many non-marine Cenozoic basins bounded by mountain ranges of pre-Cenozoic rocks that form part of a Cenozoic deformational province that is currently being incorporated into the northeastern part of the Tibetan Plateau. Thus, say Burchfiel and Wang, “Xining was a perfect venue for the conference, located within an area that displays the great variety of features that are forming the plateau today.”

The meeting attracted 96 participants, 31 from outside of China. Meeting presentations covered a wide range of subjects that included tectonics, sedimentation, petrology, geodesy, geophysics, dynamic modeling, magmatism and climatic change. Two of the important aspects of the meeting were that it attracted a large number of young Chinese scientists and fostered discussions and friendships between Chinese and foreign scientists.

Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online store, or by contacting GSA Sales and Service, .

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting Jeanette Hammann, .

Investigations into the Tectonics of the Tibetan Plateau
B. Clark Burchfiel and Erchie Wang (editors)
Geological Society of America Special Paper 444
2008, 122 pages, US$48.00, GSA member price $34.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-2444-7