Zircon U-Pb age constraints on NW Himalayan exhumation from the Laxmi Basin, Arabian Sea
Stockli, Daniel F.
Murray, Richard W.
Clift, Peter D.
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The Indus Fan, located in the Arabian Sea, contains the bulk of the sediment eroded from the Western Himalaya and Karakoram. Scientific drilling in the Laxmi Basin by the International Ocean Discovery Program recovered a discontinuous erosional record for the Indus River drainage dating back to at least 9.8 Ma, and with a single sample from 15.6 Ma. We dated detrital zircon grains by U-Pb geochronology to reconstruct how erosion patterns changed through time. Long-term increases in detrital zircon U-Pb components of 750–1,200 and 1,500–2,300 Ma record increasing preferential erosion of the Himalaya relative to the Karakoram between 8.3–7.0 and 5.9–5.7 Ma. The average contribution of Karakoram-derived sediment to the Indus Fan fell from 70% of the total at 8.3–7.0 Ma to 35% between 5.9 and 5.7 Ma. An increase in the contribution of 1,500–2,300 Ma zircons starting between 2.5 and 1.6 Ma indicates significant unroofing of the Inner Lesser Himalaya (ILH) by that time. The trend in zircon age spectra is consistent with bulk sediment Nd isotope data. The initial change in spatial erosion patterns at 7.0–5.9 Ma occurred during a time of drying climate in the foreland. The increase in ILH erosion postdated the onset of dry-wet glacial-interglacial cycles suggesting some role for climate control. However, erosion driven by rising topography in response to formation of the ILH thrust duplex, especially during the Pliocene, also played an important role, while the influence of the Nanga Parbat Massif to the total sediment flux was modest.
© The Author(s), 2022. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Zhou, P., Stockli, D. F., Ireland, T., Murray, R. W., & Clift, P. D. Zircon U-Pb age constraints on NW Himalayan exhumation from the Laxmi Basin, Arabian Sea. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 23(1), (2022): e2021GC010158, https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GC010158.
Suggested CitationZhou, P., Stockli, D. F., Ireland, T., Murray, R. W., & Clift, P. D. (2022). Zircon U-Pb age constraints on NW Himalayan exhumation from the Laxmi Basin, Arabian Sea. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, 23(1), e2021GC010158.
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