Abstract

Correlation of new multichannel seismic profiles across the upper Indus Fan and Murray Ridge with a dated industrial well on the Pakistan shelf demonstrates that ∼40% of the Indus Fan predates the middle Miocene, and ∼35% predates uplift of the Murray Ridge (early Miocene, ∼22 Ma). The Arabian Sea, in addition to the Makran accretionary complex, was therefore an important repository of sediment from the Indus River system during the Paleogene. Channel and levee complexes are most pronounced after the early Miocene, coincident with an increase in sedimentation rates. Middle Eocene sandstones from Deep Sea Drilling Project Site 224 on the Owen Ridge yield K-feldspars whose Pb isotopic composition, measured by in situ ion microprobe methods, indicates an origin in, or north of, the Indus suture zone. This observation requires that India-Asia collision had occurred by this time and that an Indus River system, feeding material from the suture zone into the basin, was active soon after collision. Pleistocene provenance was similar to that during the Eocene, albeit with greater contribution from the Karakoram. A mass balance of the erosional record on land with deposition in the fan and associated basins suggests that only ∼40% of the Neogene sediment in the fan is derived from the Indian plate.

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