Abstract

A granite pluton intruding low-grade quartzites and migmatites lies north of the Karakorum axial batholith of Cretaceous to Miocene age. The pluton is covered by transgressive litharenite and slate that contain a fairly rich assemblage of acritarchs of Arenigian age (Early Ordovician), belonging to the Peri-Gondwana biogeographic province. This is the first time that crystalline basement has been found in Karakorum and acritarchs in central Asia. These discoveries add new evidence that the Karakorum microplate, together with the Helmand block of central Afghanistan and the Lhasa block of Tibet, belongs to a Cimmerian domain at the northern fringe of Gondwana.

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