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Provenance of Cenozoic sedimentary rocks from the Sulaiman fold and thrust belt, Pakistan: implications for the palaeogeography of the Indus drainage system

Abstract : The provenance of middle Eocene to early Miocene sedimentary rocks cropping out in the Sulaiman fold and thrust belt has been determined examining the mineralogy, bulk-rock major and trace elements, and Nd-Sr isotopes. The older (50-30 Ma) deposits are characterized by a mixed orogenic provenance with a major contribution from the Karakorum and the Tethyan belt (c. 80%). As the 50-30 Ma deposits have a provenance distinct from that of coeval Subathu, Khojak and Ghazij shallow marine formations of India and Pakistan, we propose that they were deposited as a distinct delta system that once fed the Palaeo-Indus fan. We document a major change in provenance that occurred before the early-late Oligocene transition at c. 30 Ma. This change in provenance is marked by the appearance of chlorite and monazite and a shift toward more radiogenic Nd-Sr isotopic compositions. We interpret this change as the result of the exhumation and erosion of the proto-Higher Himalaya. The 30-15 Ma sampled rocks are characterized by a major contribution from the Tethyan belt and the Higher Himalayan Crystallines (70-90%) and a subordinate contribution (10-30%) from the Karakorum, Ophiolitic Suture and Trans-Himalaya. As the εNd(0) values of our 30-15 Ma samples are similar to those of the Palaeo-Indus fan deposits, we suggest that the 30-15 Ma sedimentary rocks of the Sulaiman fold and thrust belt were the fluvial onshore record of the Indus fan. Other coeval deposits of India and Pakistan recorded similar increasing exhumation of the Higher Himalaya range, so that we postulate that these sedimentary rocks all derived from the Palaeo-Indus drainage basin. This would suggest that the modern Indus drainage basin is no younger than 30 Ma.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-00645628
Contributor : Pascale Talour <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 28, 2011 - 1:21:29 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 3:13:08 AM

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Martin Roddaz, Aymen Said, Stéphane Guillot, Pierre-Olivier Antoine, Jean-Marc Montel, et al.. Provenance of Cenozoic sedimentary rocks from the Sulaiman fold and thrust belt, Pakistan: implications for the palaeogeography of the Indus drainage system. Journal of the Geological Society, Geological Society, 2011, 168 (2), pp.499-516. ⟨10.1144/0016-76492010-100⟩. ⟨insu-00645628⟩

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