Rapid Eocene erosion, sedimentation and burial in the eastern Himalayan syntaxis and its geodynamic significance

Xu, Wang-Chun; Zhang, Hong-Fei; Harris, Nigel; Guo, Liang and Pan, Fa-Bing (2013). Rapid Eocene erosion, sedimentation and burial in the eastern Himalayan syntaxis and its geodynamic significance. Gondwana Research, 23(2) pp. 715–725.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gr.2012.05.011


The lower Bomi Group of the eastern Himalayan syntaxis comprises a lithological package of sedimentary and igneous rocks that have been metamorphosed to upper amphibolite-facies conditions. The lower Bomi Group is bounded to the south by the Indus–Yarlung Suture and to the north by unmetamorphosed Paleozoic sediments of the Lhasa terrane. We report U–Pb zircon dating, geochemistry and petrography of gneiss, migmatite, mica schist and marble from the lower Bomi Group and explore their geological implications for the tectonic evolution of the eastern Himalaya. Zircons from the lower Bomi Group are composite. The inherited magmatic zircon cores display 206Pb/238U ages from ~ 74 Ma to ~ 41.5 Ma, indicating a probable source from the Gangdese magmatic arc. The metamorphic overgrowth zircons yielded 206Pb/238U ages ranging from ~ 38 Ma to ~ 23 Ma, that overlap the anatexis time (~ 37 Ma) recorded in the leucosome of the migmatites. Our data indicate that the lower Bomi Group do not represent Precambrian basement of the Lhasa terrane. Instead, the lower Bomi Group may represent sedimentary and igneous rocks of the residual forearc basin, similar to the Tsojiangding Group in the Xigaze area, derived from denudation of the hanging wall rocks during the India–Asia continental collision. We propose that following the Indian–Asian collision, the forearc basin was subducted, together with Himalayan lithologies from the Indian continental slab. The minimum age of detrital magmatic zircons from the supracrustal rocks is ~ 41.5 Ma and their metamorphism had happened at ~ 37 Ma. The short time interval (< 5 Ma) suggests that the tectonic processes associated with the eastern Himalayan syntaxis, encompassing uplift and erosion of the Gangdese terrane, followed by deposition, imbrication and subduction of the forearc basin, were extremely rapid during the Late Eocene.

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