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Cenozoic basin evolution in the Indus-Yarlung suture zone and High Himalaya

Peter G. DeCelles, Ryan J. Leary and Paul Kapp
Cenozoic basin evolution in the Indus-Yarlung suture zone and High Himalaya (in Tectonics, sedimentary basins, and provenance; a celebration of the career of William R. Dickinson, Raymond V. Ingersoll (editor), Timothy F. Lawton (editor) and Stephan A. Graham (editor))
Special Paper - Geological Society of America (December 2018) 540: 707-739


Five genetic categories of sedimentary basins have been active within the Indus-Yarlung suture zone and in the neighboring High Himalaya since early Cenozoic time. These include: (1) the Xigaze forearc basin (Aptian-early Eocene), (2) the north Himalayan foreland basin (Paleocene-Eocene), (3) the Kailas extensional basin (Oligocene-Miocene), (4) the Liuqu wedge-top basin (early Miocene), and (5) a set of at least six rift and supradetachment basins that formed by arc-parallel extension (late Miocene-Pleistocene). The older basins (categories 1 and 2) were filled with predominantly deep-marine turbiditic deposits, which shoaled through time to subaerial (but very low) elevations. The other basins (categories 3-5) were filled with alluvial-fan, fluvial, and lacustrine sediments, and these formed at progressively higher elevations, culminating in category 5 basins at essentially modern (or slightly higher than modern) elevations ( approximately 4000-5000 m). Development of diverse basin types was a response to changing orientations and relative magnitudes of principal stresses in the upper crust of the suture zone and the northern Himalayan thrust belt. Through the Cenozoic, the orientation of maximum compressive principal stress (sigma (sub 1) ) changed from approximately horizontal and north-south (Paleocene-Eocene) to approximately vertical with least compressive principal stress (sigma (sub 3) ) oriented north-south (Oligocene-Miocene), to horizontal and north-south (early Miocene), to nearly vertical with sigma (sub 3) oriented approximately east-west (late Miocene-present). Tectonic stresses associated with the degree of coupling between the converging plates were also potentially important, especially during the Oligocene-Miocene, when the subducting Indian slab was rolling backward relative to the upper Eurasian plate, and during middle to late Miocene time, when the Indian slab was subducting nearly flat beneath the High Himalaya and southern Tibet. Preservation of these extensive sedimentary basins in an orogenic system that is generally being eroded rapidly and deeply stems from original basin-forming mechanisms that produced very large-scale basins (the forearc and early foreland basins) and subsequent evolution of the Himalayan thrust belt in a manner that has isolated High Himalayan basins behind an orographic barrier that protects them from erosion. Recent incision by trans-Himalayan and orogen-parallel suture-zone rivers, however, threatens future preservation of these High Himalayan basins (particularly categories 4 and 5).

ISSN: 0072-1077
EISSN: 2331-219X
Serial Title: Special Paper - Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 540
Title: Cenozoic basin evolution in the Indus-Yarlung suture zone and High Himalaya
Title: Tectonics, sedimentary basins, and provenance; a celebration of the career of William R. Dickinson
Author(s): DeCelles, Peter G.Leary, Ryan J.Kapp, Paul
Author(s): Ingersoll, Raymond V.editor
Author(s): Lawton, Timothy F.editor
Author(s): Graham, Stephan A.editor
Affiliation: University of Arizona, Department of Geosciences, Tucson, AZ, United States
Affiliation: University of California Los Angeles, Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Pages: 707-739
Published: 20181228
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
ISBN: 9780813795409
References: 209
Accession Number: 2020-013060
Categories: Structural geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., sketch maps
N27°00'00" - N37°00'00", E72°00'00" - E97°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2020, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 202009
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