Central Asia is a classical example for continental lithospheric folding. In particular, the Altay–Sayan belt in\ud South-Siberia and the Kyrgyz Tien Shan display a special mode of lithospheric deformation, involving\ud decoupled lithospheric mantle folding and upper crustal folding and faulting. Both areas have a heterogenous\ud crust with a long history of accretion–collision, subsequently reactivated as a far-field effect of the Indian–\ud Eurasian collision. Thanks to the youthfulness of the tectonic deformation in this region (peak deformation\ud in late Pliocene–early Pleistocene), the surface expression of lithospheric deformation is well documented\ud by the surface topography and superficial tectonic structures. A review of the paleostress data and tectonostratigraphic\ud evolution of the Kurai-Chuya basin in Siberian Altai, Zaisan basin in Kazakh South Altai and\ud Issyk-Kul basin in Kyrgyz Tien Shan suggests that they were initiated in an extensional context and inverted\ud by a combination of fault-controlled deformation and flexural folding. In these basins, fault-controlled deformation\ud alone appears largely insufficient to explain their architecture. Lithospheric buckling inducing surface\ud tilting, uplift and subsidence also played an important role. They form typical basins in a folding lithosphere\ud (FLB). Their characteristic basin fill and symmetry, inner structure, folding wavelength and amplitude, thermal\ud regime, time frame are examined in relation to basement structure, stress field, strain rate, timing of deformation,\ud and compared to existing modelling results
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