Abstract

International Ocean Discovery Program Expedition 355 drilled Sites U1456 and U1457 in Laxmi Basin (eastern Arabian Sea) to document the impact of the South Asian monsoon on weathering and erosion of the Himalaya. We revised the chronostratigraphic framework for these sites using a combination of biostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy and strontium isotope stratigraphy. The sedimentary section at the two sites is similar and we divided it into six units bounded by unconformities or emplaced as a mass-transport deposit (MTD). Unit 1 underlies the MTD, and is of early–middle Miocene age at Site U1456 and early Paleocene age at Site U1457. An unconformity (U1) created by emplacement of the MTD (unit 2) during the late Miocene Epoch (at c. 9.83–9.69 Ma) separates units 1 and 2 and is identified by a marked change in lithology. Unit 3 consists of hemipelagic sediment with thin interbeds of graded sandstone of late Miocene age, separated from unit 4 by a second unconformity (U2) of 0.5–0.9 Myr duration. Unit 4 consists of upper Miocene interbedded mudstone and sandstone and hemipelagic chalk deposited between c. 8 and 6 Ma. A c. 1.4–1.6 Myr hiatus (U3) encompasses the Miocene–Pliocene boundary and separates unit 4 from unit 5. Unit 5 includes upper Pliocene – lower Pleistocene siliciclastic sediment that is separated from unit 6 by a c. 0.45 Myr hiatus (U4) in the lower Pleistocene sediments. Unit 6 includes a thick package of rapidly deposited Pleistocene sand and mud overlain by predominantly hemipelagic sediment deposited since c. 1.2 Ma.

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