Laboratory of Regional Geology and Tectonics
Head of Geology Department, and the Laboratory, Prof. Vladimir V. GOLOZUBOV
Before the Far Eastern Geological Institute was founded, the Department of Regional Geology had been a part of the Far Eastern Branch of the Siberian Division of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1960, already being a part of FEGI, it was reorganized into the Laboratory of Tectonics that till 1966 was headed by a doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences N.P. Vasilkovsky. The Laboratory was assigned a task of providing the metallogenic mapping of the Pacific mobile belt. The initiators of this research were Doctors of Sciences M.G. Organov, G.M. Vlasov, V.I. Shuldiner and A.M. Smirnov. In 1979, N.P. Vasilkovsky was appointed the head of the new Laboratory of Regional Geography and Geophysics aimed at creating a scientific regional and geological basis for metallogenic summaries and predictions. For many years (1966 to 1980) the Laboratory of Tectonics was headed and inspired by A.M. Smirnov who focused on solving the problems of Precambrian geology. Under his guidance the first scientific steps were made by the Doctors of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences V.V. Golozubov,
S.V. Vysotsky and Academician A.I. Khanchuk. Their main scientific points of interest included the studying of the tectonic structures and metallogeny of the northeastern framing of the Precambrian Sino-Korean shield and its eastern border with the Mesozoic structures of Sikhote-Alin. With the appointment of the new head V.I. Shuldiner (1981–1986), the emphasis was replaced on the studying of the Phanerozoic complexes forming the basement of the modern Pacific Ocean active margins. Thus, the laboratory changed its name to the Laboratory of the Pacific Margin Basement Tectonics. In 1986, when A.I. Khanchuk took charge of the laboratory, it was merged with the Laboratory of Regional Geology and Geophysics giving it a new name: the Laboratory of Regional Geology and Tectonics. Its course was set to reconsidering the tectonics of the Far East as a whole and of the Sikhote-Alin mountain range in particular in the context of the lithosphere
plate tectonics. These territories have been recognized to be a collage of terranes that differ in their development’s history and that were accreted to the eastern margin of Asia during the Upper Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic. We were the first to show that the chaotic complexes with blocks and plates of the rocks of oceanic origin are the fragments of the Mesozoic accretionary prisms formed over the subduction zones. Deciphering the structure and development of the eastern margin of Asia during the Mesozoic-Cenozoic has revealed the episodes of the subduction regime and transform margin setting predominance. And if the indicator complexes for recognizing the subduction regime have long been established and agreed upon by the scientific community, transform margin regime in the geological past remained unrevealed. The laboratory has developed this new direction in paleodynamics research, as elaborated by the work of Academician A.I. Khanchuk, Doctors of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences V.V. Golozubov, Yu.A. Martynov, I.V. Kemkin, Candidate of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences V.P. Simanenko and others.
The laboratory workers’ investigations allowed to elaborate the main criteria for recognizing the ancient transform boundaries:
- Presence of the fault zones, active at the considered length of time, along the plates’ boundaries with displacements for hundreds and thousands of kilometers;
- Formation of pull-apart basins on the continental margin filled with terrigenous and volcanic material and avalanche sedimentation near the continent on the oceanic basement;
- Manifestations of volcanism with mixed subduction and intraplate characteristics that are restricted to the pull-apart basins and are irregularly distributed along the margins.
Since 1997 up to the present moment the laboratory is headed by V.V. Golozubov. In 2004 it incorporated the Laboratory of Sedimentary Mineralogical Sciences Yu.B. Ustinovsky, and later on (1977–2004) by Candidate of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences P.V. Markevich) that studied different sides of the Phanerozoic sedimentation in the zone of interaction between the Eurasian continent and the Pacific Ocean as well as the structure and composition of the feeding sources of different types of sedimentary basins. In 2007 the laboratory was reorganized and it incorporated the Laboratory of Geodynamics and Magma- and Ore-controlling
Structures that since 1981 was headed by Doctor of Geological and Mineralogical Sciences V.P. Utkin. Currently the laboratory employs 11 workers, among them 4 Doctors and 6 Candidates of Sciences. The personnel solve a series of issues related to the history of the terranes’ formation, their further accretion and post-accretion dislocations at various parts of East Asian continental margin and at different periods of time. Particular attention is paid to the studying of transitions from subduction to transform plate boundaries in time and space.
Each of the above-mentioned signs of existence of the transform margins is represented by a field of research carried out by the laboratory:
- the study of strike-slip fault geodynamic regimes and their role in tectogenesis, sedimentogenesis, manifestations of magmatism and formation of ore deposits in the Asian continent – Pacific Ocean transition zone;
- the study of the sedimentation characteristics during the large-scale shear displacements on the examples of Early Cretaceous and Cenozoic basins associated with the marginal fault systems;
- the study of geochemistry of igneous rocks associated with transform plate boundaries based on the material from the northwestern framing of the Pacific Ocean.
At different times the laboratory’s employees carried out joint research with their colleagues from South Korea (pull-apart basins) and Japan (Miocene dislocations on Tsushima Island). In recent years several expeditions to the northern and central parts of Vietnam have been undertaken in order to study the Cenozoic dislocations along the Red River fault that separates the Sino-Korean and the Indo-Chinese Cratons. Joint investigations with the Chinese scientists on the study of P-T dislocations and Laoeling-Grodekov terrane’s volcanism are also carried out. The results of the investigations of the laboratory workers have been published in monographs and articles in the Russian and foreign journals and thematic collections. In particular, certain key sections of the joint monograph of FEGI “Geodynamics, magmatism and metallogeny of the Russian East” were written by the laboratory personnel (Ed. A.I. Khanchuk, 2006).