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Constraints to the timing of India–Eurasia collision; a re-evaluation of evidence from the Indus Basin sedimentary rocks of the Indus–Tsangpo Suture Zone, Ladakh, India

Henderson, Alexandra L., Najman, Yani, Parrish, Randall, Mark, Darren F., Foster, Gavin L.
Earth-science reviews 2011 v.106 no.3-4 pp. 265-292
apatite, geochemistry, mica, mudstone, sandstone, India
Deposited within the Indus–Tsangpo suture zone, the Cenozoic Indus Basin sedimentary rocks have been interpreted to hold evidence that may constrain the timing of India–Eurasia collision, a conclusion challenged by data presented here. The Eurasian derived 50.8–51Ma Chogdo Formation was previously considered to overlie Indian Plate marine sedimentary rocks in sedimentary contact, thus constraining the timing of collision as having occurred by this time. Using isotopic analysis (U–Pb dating on detrital zircons, Ar–Ar dating on detrital white mica, Sm–Nd analyses on detrital apatite), sandstone and conglomerate petrography, mudstone geochemistry, facies analysis and geological mapping to characterize and correlate the formations of the Indus Basin Sedimentary rocks, we review the nature of these contacts and the identification and correlation of the formations. Our results reveal that previously interpreted stratigraphic contacts identifying Chogdo Formation unconformably overlying Indian plate sedimentary rocks are incorrect. Rather, we suggest that the inaccuracy of previous interpretations is most likely a result of Formation misidentification and thus cannot be used to constrain the timing of India–Asia collision.