The Turpan Basin has a complex polycyclic sedimentary and tectonic history from Late Permian to late Tertiary time. Main stratigraphic boundaries are unconformities that bound tectonically induced sedimentary cycles. The depositional style reflects a continental environment exhibiting changes from alluvial fan/fluvial to lacustrine conditions within each cycle. More than 7000 m of clastic sediments accumulated during the evolution of the basin. Paleocurrent analysis reveals a complex pattern of sediment dispersal pathways into the basin. On the southern margin of the basin, the transport direction is always directed from south to north indicating sediment sources in the Jueluotage Shan, while in the northern part the Late Jurassic uplift of the Bogda Shan provided an important source area from the Early Cretaceous onwards with transport directions from north to south. After basin formation during the Late Permian, the Turpan Basin underwent first thermal subsidence and then flexural subsidence. The thermal subsidence took place during the Late Permian and Early Triassic following the period of magmatic activities in this region. The flexural subsidence was throughout the Middle Triassic to early Tertiary induced by collisions and accretions onto the south Asian continental margin of the Qiangtang Block in the Late Triassic/Early Jurassic, the Gangdise Block in latest Jurassic/earliest Cretaceous, and the Indian Subcontinent in the latest Cretaceous/early Cenozoic.
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