The mountain ranges of the Pamir, Tian Shan, and the Himalaya-Tibetan orogen form the most prominent morphological features in central Asia. Much of this morphology results from uplift related to the Cenozoic India-Asia collision. However, this is built upon a complex pre-Cenozoic history of ocean closures (Proto- and Paleo-Tethys, Paleo-Asian), terrane accretions and the related reorganization of Asia's southern margin. This long-lasting history of consecutive accretionary events left behind a complex mosaic of high- and low-strain domains, magmatic arcs, allochthonous blocks (terranes) and intervening suture zones. A significant challenge is to correlate and date those domains, which are often used as large-scale structural markers for quantifying large structural offsets. Quantifying pre-collisional topography and crustal thickness is crucial. Both the pre-Cenozoic history and the timing and kinematics of young deformation must be well-constrained in order to reconstruct the orogenic evolution in time and space and to understand how pre-existing structures influenced Cenozoic deformation. To promote discussion on this topic, we invite contributions from geoscientists who are working on various aspects of the geologic evolution of Central Asia, including structural geology, geochemistry, sedimentology, detrital studies, as well as geophysical or modeling studies.
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