Subduction of Indian continental lithosphere during the Asia-India collision played an important role in the formation and evolution of the Himalaya-Tibetan orogen. However, the geometry of early Indian continental subduction remains debated. Given that the Indian continent is characterized by enriched isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr > 0.730, εNd(t) < −10), relative to those in subducted oceanic materials (87Sr/86Sr < 0.704, εNd(t) ≈ +8), changes in the composition of magmatic rocks with time, in particular their radiogenic isotope ratios, is used to constrain the timing and nature of continental subduction. This study reports the field relations, zircon U-Pb ages and geochemical composition of a syn-collisional batholith that crosscuts the central Indus-Yarlung Zangbu suture in the Saga area of southern Tibet. Zircon U/Pb ages for the batholith mainly range from 50 to 46 Ma. Samples from the Lopu Range batholith have enriched zircon Hf (εHf(t) = −0.4 to −8.6) and whole rock 87Sr/86Sri = 0.7094–0.7121 and εNd(t) = −7.3 to −9.8, suggesting that they were derived from a mixture of juvenile Gangdese and isotopically enriched Indian crustal materials. This result indicates that subduction of Indian crustal rocks occurred before 50 Ma in the central Himalaya. The geochemical composition and distribution of high volume ca. 51 Ma magmatism in the Gangdese belt, combined with thermal models of the subduction zone, suggests a steepening of the subducted Indian continental lithosphere occurred between the onset of India-Asia collision (59 Ma) and 46 Ma in the central-eastern Himalaya.

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