This study uses apatite fission track (FT) analysis to constrain the exhumation history of bedrock samples collected from the Altai Mountains in northern Xinjiang, China. Samples were collected as transects across the main structures related to Palaeozoic crustal accretion events. FT results and modeling identify three stages in sample cooling history spanning the Mesozoic and Tertiary. Stage one records rapid cooling to the low temperature part of the fission track partial annealing zone circa 70 ± 10 °C. Stage two, records a period of relative stability with little if any cooling taking place between 75 and 25–20 Ma suggesting the Altai region had been reduced to an area of low relief. Support for this can be found in the adjacent Junngar Basin that received little if any sediment during this interval. Final stage cooling took place in the Miocene at an accelerated rate bringing the sampled rocks to the Earth's surface. This last stage, linked to the far field effects of the Himalayan collision, most likely generated the surface uplift and relief that define the present-day Altai Mountains
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