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Huang Wentao
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W. Huang, MSc
Paleomagnetic Laboratory
Fort Hoofddijk

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Department of Earth Sciences
Utrecht University
Budapestlaan 17, 3584 CD Utrecht 
The Netherlands 

Phone +31 30 253 1361

PhD thesis

Research of Huang Wentao

Reconstruction of the India-Asia collision
Drastic environmental changes are expected in the next tens to hundreds of years when atmospheric CO2 will attain levels that were last reached during the warm Paleogene period, 65.5 to 23 Myr ago. To understand major climate changes like global warming, it is crucial to know how and when our world changed from the Greenhouse state of the Paleogene into the Icehouse state of today. The prevailing hypothesis assumes that global cooling was caused by uplift of the Tibetan Plateau, following the onset of the Indo-Asia continental collision.
However, proving this far-sighted theory is upsetting the geosciences community because of the inability to establish unequivocal relationships between tectonism, global climate and major environmental changes in Asia. 
The most fundamental boundary condition to solve the problem is the age of the collision itself, but despite previous attempts to constrain it, this age is still highly controversial with estimates ranging from 70 to 35 Myr ago. The aim of this PhD project is to date the Indo-Asia collision accurately, and quantify associated continental deformation. 

Wentao overlooking the geology of the southern Tarim basin at Aertashi (left) and drilling Oligocene red beds (above).
Using state-of-the-art paleomagnetic methods on well-targeted and crucial areas, our results will allow reconstructing the positions of continents in unprecedented detail in place and time. Our reconstructions will be independently constrained by tomography, and will constitute the building blocks for regional tectonic models (collision, exhumation, crustal deformation, basin formation) and their environmental response (sea retreat, aridification, cooling, monsoon intensification, biotic events). 

In addition to providing the boundary conditions for tectonic modelling of continental collision, our long awaited results are essential for global circulation modelling of the peculiar Paleogene climate events.

This project is embedded with an ongoing VIDI project from NWO: "Is the India-Asia collision responsible for global climatic cooling?" of G. Dupont-Nivet. This projects fits excellently with ongoing and future research of The Netherlands Research Centre for Integrated Solid Earth Science (ISES).
This work is done in collaboration with the University of Arizona. With this group and within a Continental Dynamic project of the National Science Foundation we will combine a very large array of expertise including: geologic and basin analysis thermo-chronology and geochemistry stable-isotope paleoaltimetry as well as modelling of lithospheric collision.

publications Publications of Huang Wentao
  • Huang, W. (2015). Paleomagnetic Constraints on Tectonic Reconstructions of the India-Aisa Collision Zone, Utrecht Studies in Earth Sciences, Volume 80.   
  • Huang, W., Dupont-Nivet, G., Lippert, P.C., van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Dekkers, M.J.,Waldrip, R., Ganerød, M., Li, X., Guo, Z., and Kapp, P. (2015). What was the Paleogene latitude of the Lhasa terrane? A reassessment of the geochronology and paleomagnetism of the Linzizong volcanic rocks (Linzhou Basin, Tibet), Tectonics, 34, 594-622.  
  • Huang, W., Dupont-Nivet, G., van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Lippert, P.C., Dekkers, M.J., Guo, Z., Waldrip, R., Li, X., Zhang, X. & Liu, D. (2015). Can a primary remanence be retrieved from partially remagnetized Eocence volcanics in the Nanmulin Basin (Southern Tibet) to date the India-Asia collision?, Journal of Geophysical Research, 120, 42-66.    
  • Huang, W., van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Dekkers, M.J., Dupont-Nivet, G., Lippert, P.C., Li, X., Maffione, M., Langereis, C.G., Hu, X., Guo, Z., Kapp, P. (2015). Paleolatitudes of the Tibetan Himalaya from primary and secondary magnetizations of Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous sedimentary rocks,  Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 16, 77-100.   
  • Huang, W., van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Lippert, P.C., Guo, Z., and Dupont-Nivet, G. (2015). Paleomagnetic tests of tectonic reconstructions of the India-Asia collision zone, Geophysical Research Letters42, 2642-2649.   
  • Huang, W., van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Maffione, M., Orme, D., Dupont-Nivet, G., Guilmette, C., Ding, L., Guo, Z., and Kapp, P. (2015). Lower Cretaceous Xigaze ophiolites formed in the Gangdese forearc: Evidence from paleomagnetism, sediment provenance, and stratigraphy, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 415, 142-153. .
  • Bosboom, R.E., Dupont-Nivet, G., Grothe,A.,  Brinkhuis, H., Villa, G., Mandic, O., Stoica, M., Huang, W., Yang, W., Guo, Z.J. and Krijgsman, W. (2014). Linking Tarim Basin sea retreat (west China) and Asian aridification in the late Eocene, Basin Research, 26, 621-640.    
  • Bosboom, R., Dupont-Nivet, G., Huang, W., Yang, W., and Guo, Z. (2014). Oligocene clockwise rotations along the eastern Pamir: tectonic and paleogeographic implications: Tectonics, 33, 53–66. doi:10.1002/2013TC003388.  
  • Bosboom, R., Dupont-Nivet, G., Grothe, A., Brinkhuis, H., Villa, G., Mandic, O., Stoica, M., Kouwenhoven, T., Huang, W., Yang, W., and Guo, Z., (2014). Timing, cause and impact of the late Eocene stepwise sea retreat from the Tarim Basin (west China): Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, v. 403, p.101-118.
  • Huang, W., Dupont-Nivet, G., Lippert, P.C., Van Hinsbergen, D.J.J., Hallot, E. (2013). Inclination shallowing in Eocene Linzizong sedimentary rocks from Southern Tibet: Correction, possible causes and implications for reconstructing the India-Asia collision, Geophy. J. Int., 194, 1390-1411.