Published:October 08, 2019
Although there is some evidence for an Eocene monsoon, the most important intensification of rainfall appears to start at c. 24 Ma in the Early Miocene. Many palaeoceanographical proxies for monsoon intensity are linked to wind and do not correlate well with humidity of the continental climate over tectonic timescales. Rainfall peaked in the middle Miocene (c. 15 Ma) with strong drying after 8 Ma. This timing does not correlate well with either initial uplift of the Tibetan Plateau or with the retreat of shallow seas from central Asia. The c. 24 Ma onset of strengthening rainfall is associated with the initiation of rapid erosion and cooling of Himalayan metamorphic rocks. The progressive detachment of the subducting Indian lithosphere from the eastern and western syntaxes at c. 25 Ma to the east-central Himalaya at c. 13–11 Ma would have produced corresponding propagation of rising Himalayan topography following release of the weight of the detached slab. Rapid uplift of the Himalayan barrier, blocking moisture-laden winds, is considered the most likely trigger for a stronger summer monsoon in South Asia, which in turn allowed faster erosion and exhumation of the Greater Himalaya after 24 Ma.
Figures & Tables
Himalayan Tectonics: A Modern Synthesis
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS
The Himalaya–Karakoram–Tibet mountain belt resulted from Cenozoic collision of India and Asia and is frequently used as the type example of a continental collision orogenic belt. The last quarter of a century has seen the publication of a remarkably detailed dataset relevant to the evolution of this belt. Detailed fieldwork backed up by state-of-the-art structural analysis, geochemistry, mineral chemistry, igneous and metamorphic petrology, isotope chemistry, sedimentology and geophysics produced a wide-ranging archive of data-rich scientific papers. The rationale for this book is to provide a coherent overview of these datasets in addressing the evolution of the mountain ranges we see today.
This volume comprises 21 specially invited review papers on the Himalaya, Kohistan arc, Tibet, the Karakoram and Pamir ranges. These papers span the history of Himalayan research, chronology of the collision, stratigraphy, magmatic and metamorphic processes, structural geology and tectonics, seismicity, geophysics, and the evolution of the Indian monsoon. This landmark set of papers should underpin the next 25 years of Himalayan research.