Abstract

Although the large-scale stratigraphy of many terrestrial foreland basins is punctuated by major episodes of gravel progradation, the relationships of such facies to hinterland tectonism and climate change are often unclear. Structural reentrants provide windows into older and more proximal parts of the foreland than are usually exposed, and thus provide key insights to earlier phases of foreland evolution. Our magnetostratigraphic studies show that, although the major lithofacies preserved within the Himachal Pradesh structural reentrant in northwestern India resemble Neogene facies in Pakistan, they have a much greater temporal and spatial variability. From 11.5 to 7 Ma, major facies boundaries in Himachal Pradesh vary by as much as 2–3 m.y. across distances of 20–30 km and are controlled by the interference between a major southeastward-flowing axial river and a major southwestward-flowing transverse river. A thick but highly confined middle to late Miocene conglomerate facies includes the oldest extensive Siwalik conglomerates yet dated (10 Ma) and implies the development of significant erosional topography along the Main Boundary thrust prior to 11 Ma. Our studies document extensive syntectonic gravel progradation with conglomerates extending tens of kilometers into the undeformed foreland during a period of increased subsidence rate and within 1–2 m.y. of major thrust initiation. Overall, gravel progradation is modulated by the interplay among subsidence, sediment supply, and the proportion of gravels in rivers entering the foreland.

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