Recently, the well-known international geological journal Journal of Asian Earth Sciences published a new special issue titled ‘Evolution of the Tibetan Neo-Tethys: Stratigraphy and Palaeogeography’.
Co-edited by Prof. LIJianguo, Prof.SHAJingeng, and Prof. LUOHui from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGPAS), the SI incorporates a total of 12 research papers and a preface review paper from multiple disciplines including palaeontology, volcanic lithology, and geochemistry. A wide range of scientific topics related to the evolution of Neo-Tethys have been accommodatedby the researchers, such as the opening and forming of Neo-Tethys, the drifting history of the India Plate, palaeoclimate, palaeoelevation and the impact of the rising plateau on biotas, and biochronostratigraphy for the reconstruction of Neo-Tethys.The SI also puts emphasis on stratigraphy which is fundamental forinvestigating and reconstructing this geological process. These results will undoubtedly provide important references for future study of the evolution of Tethys.
The Qinghai-Xizang plateau is ideal for investigating the interaction of lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere in the deep past. It has received much attention for its role in the study of geodynamics, plate tectonics, palaeogeography, palaeoclimate, biotic evolution, and source effects. However, due to the extremely harsh natural conditions, strong tectonic and metamorphic activities, the preservation and collection of fossils on the plateau are difficult, which hampers the development of stratigraphy and palaeontology in the realm. The current research on the history and evolutionary mechanism of biodiversity during the evolution of Neo-Tethys is not satisfying, and even records are often incomplete or insufficient.
For decades, researchers from the NIGPAS have been working unremittingly on the stratigraphy and paleontology on the Qinghai-Xizang plateau under the support of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and other national projects. Particularly,under the support of the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Second Expedition to Qinghai-Xizang plateau and Research Project in recent years, much progress on fossil collecting and research has been made as is represented in this SI.It includes: first,new findings of fossils that were previously not or poorly discovered and studied, such as insects (Cai et al., 2019; Wang et al., 2019); Second, foundation or improvement of some microfossil sequences that are particularly important and useful for the Mesozoic stratigraphic division and correlation, such as radiolarians and sporopollen (Li et al., 2019; Peng et al., 2019; Xu et al., 2019); third,more supplement of new material to fossil groups that have been relatively well studied or documented, ammonites, bivalves and large foraminifera (Jiang et al., 2019; Rao et al., 2019; Yang et al., 2019; Zhang et al., 2019; Li et al., 2020); forththe revealing and understanding of terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystems (Li et al., 2019; Peng et al., 2019;Jiang et al., 2019; Yang et al., 2019).The SI also establishes a new integrated multiple biostratigraphic framework for the Triassic–Paleogene strata in the Neo-Tethyan realm in southern Xizang (Li et al., 2020). The SIis a comprehensive summary of the new advance of biodiversity and ecosystem in the Neo-Tethyan region of the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau.
This digital SI is a joint product of years of collaboration and efforts by scientists from different research fields. Related research was supported by the Second Expedition to Qinghai-Xizang plateau and Research Project, the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Cai, C., Huang, D., Wu, F., Zhao, M., Wang, N., 2019. Tertiary water striders (Hemiptera, Gerromorpha, Gerridae) from the central Tibetan Plateau and their palaeobiogeographic implications. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 175, 121–127.
Jiang, H., Su, T., Wong, W. O., Wu, F., Huang, J., Shi, G., 2019. Oligocene Koelreuteria (Sapindaceae) from the Lunpola Basin in central Tibet and its implication for early diversification of the genus. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 175, 99–108.
Li, J., Wu, Y., Batten, D. J., Lin, M., 2019. Vegetation and climate of the central and northern Qinghai–Xizang plateau from the Middle Jurassic to the end of the Paleogene inferred from palynology. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 175, 35–48.
Li, J., Lin, M., Wu, Y., Luo, H., Peng, J., Mu, L., Xu, B., Zhang, C., 2020. New biostratigraphic framework for the Triassic-Paleogene in the Neo-Tethys realm of southern Xizang (Tibet), China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2020.104369.
Li, J., Sha, J., Luo, H., 2020. Preface: New advances in palaeontology, stratigraphy and palaeogeography of the Neo-Tethyan region, Qinghai-Xizang plateau, China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. doi.org/10.1016/j.jseaes.2020.104369.
Peng, J., Li, J., Slater, S. M., Zhang, Q., Zhu, H., Vajda, V., 2019. Triassic vegetation and climate evolution on the northern margin of Gondwana: a palynological study from Tulong, southern Xizang (Tibet), China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 175, 74–82.
Qi, X., Wei, C., Zhang, C., Zhang, S., Hu, Z., Ji, F., 2019. Southward extension of the Bangonghu–Nujiang Suture: Evidence from Early Cretaceous intermediate and felsic magmatism in the Gaoligong Orogen, China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 175, 1–25
Rao, X., Sha, J., Peng, B., Zhang, X., Cai, H., 2019. Constraints of bipolar and tropical bivalves on the northward drifting of the Indian Plate. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 175, 68–73.
Wang, H., Fang, Y., Li, S., Hou, X., Wang, B., Zhang, H., 2019. Revisiting of the Paleocene orthopteran insect Hylophalangopsis chinensis Lin and Huang, 2006 in northern Tibet. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 175, 93–98.
Wang, M., Peng, S., Li, C., Zhang, T., 2019b. Palaeontology and U–Pb detrital zircon geochronology of Upper Triassic strata on the northern margin of the Bangong Co–Nujiang suture zone, Tibet: Constraints on the age of opening of the Meso-Tethys. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 175, 26–34.
Xu, B., Luo, H., Wang, X., 2019. New discovery of Early Jurassic radiolarians from Luoqu, Xigaze, southern Tibet and its geological significance. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 175, 49–67.
Yang, X., Xu, Q., Lin, M., Li, J., 2019. Plant remains from the Early Cretaceous deposits of Qubsang, Doilungdeqen, northwestern Lhasa of Tibet, China. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 175, 83–92.
Zhang, Y., Shen, S., Zhang, Y.,Zhu, T., An, X., Huang, B., Ye, C., Qiao, F., Xu, H., 2019. Middle Permian foraminifers from the Zhabuye and Xiadong areas in the central Lhasa Block and their paleobiogeographic implications. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 175, 109–120.
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