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Abstract

Integration of new geological mapping, detrital zircon geochronology, and sedimentary and metamorphic petrography south of the Muskol metamorphic dome in the Central Pamir terrane provides new constraints on the evolution of the Pamir orogen from Triassic to Late Oligocene time. Zircon U–Pb data show that the eastern Central Pamir includes Triassic strata and mélange that are of Karakul–Mazar/Songpan–Ganzi affinity and comprise the hanging wall of a thrust sheet that may root into the Tanymas Fault c. 35 km to the north. The Triassic rocks are unconformably overlain by Cretaceous strata that bear similarities to coeval units in the southern Qiangtang terrane and the Bangong Suture Zone of central Tibet. Finally, Oligocene or younger conglomerate and interbedded siltstone, the youngest documented strata in the Pamir Plateau proper, record an episode of juvenile magmatism at c. 32 Ma, which is absent in the extant rock record and other detrital compilations from the Pamir but overlaps in age with ultrapotassic volcanic rocks in central Tibet. Zircon Hf isotopic data from the Oligocene grains (εHf(t) ≈ +9.6) suggest a primary mantle contribution, consistent with the hypothesis of Late Eocene lithospheric removal beneath the Pamir Plateau.

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