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Monsoon control over erosion patterns in the Western Himalaya: possible feed-back into the tectonic evolution

By
Peter D. Clift
Peter D. Clift
School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3UE, UK
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Liviu Giosan
Liviu Giosan
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
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Andrew Carter
Andrew Carter
School of Earth Sciences, University and Birkbeck College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
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Eduardo Garzanti
Eduardo Garzanti
Dipartimento Scienze Geologiche e Geotecnologie, Universita' di Milano-Bicocca, Piazza della Scienza 4 – 20126 Milano, Italy
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Valier Galy
Valier Galy
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
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Ali R. Tabrez
Ali R. Tabrez
National Institute for Oceanography, Clifton, Karachi 75600, Pakistan
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Malcolm Pringle
Malcolm Pringle
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Ian H. Campbell
Ian H. Campbell
Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, A.C.T. 0200, Australia
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Christian France-Lanord
Christian France-Lanord
CRPG-CNRS, BP 20, 15 rue Notre Dame des Pauvres, 54501 Vandoeuvre les Nancy, France
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Jurek Blusztajn
Jurek Blusztajn
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
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Charlotte Allen
Charlotte Allen
Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
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Anwar Alizai
Anwar Alizai
School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB24 3UE, UK
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Andreas Lückge
Andreas Lückge
Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR), Stilleweg 2, D-30655 Hannover, Germany
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Mohammed Danish
Mohammed Danish
National Institute for Oceanography, Clifton, Karachi 75600, Pakistan
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M. M. Rabbani
M. M. Rabbani
National Institute for Oceanography, Clifton, Karachi 75600, Pakistan
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

The Indus Delta is constructed of sediment eroded from the western Himalaya and since 20 ka has been subjected to strong variations in monsoon intensity. Provenance changes rapidly at 12–8 ka, although bulk and heavy mineral content remains relatively unchanged. Bulk sediment analyses shows more negative ɛNd and higher 87Sr/86Sr values, peaking around 8–9 ka. Apatite fission track ages and biotite Ar–Ar ages show younger grains ages at 8–9 ka compared to at the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). At the same time δ13C climbs from –23 to –20‰, suggestive of a shift from terrestrial to more marine organic carbon as Early Holocene sea level rose. U–Pb zircon ages suggest enhanced erosion of the Lesser Himalaya and a relative reduction in erosion from the Transhimalaya and Karakoram since the LGM. The shift in erosion to the south correlates with those regions now affected by the heaviest summer monsoon rains. The focused erosion along the southern edge of Tibet required by current tectonic models for the Greater Himalaya would be impossible to achieve without a strong summer monsoon. Our work supports the idea that although long-term monsoon strengthening is caused by uplift of the Tibetan Plateau, monsoon-driven erosion controls Himalayan tectonic evolution.

Supplementary material:

A table of the population breakdown for zircons in sands and the predicted Nd isotope composition of sediments based on the zircons compared to the measured whole rock value is available at http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/SUP18412

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Monsoon Evolution and Tectonic–Climate Linkage in Asia

P. D. Clift
P. D. Clift
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R. Tada
R. Tada
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H. Zheng
H. Zheng
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Geological Society of London
Volume
342
ISBN electronic:
9781862395909
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

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