University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) > The capture of the Tsangpo by the Brahmuputra River and rapid exhumation of the Namche Barwa eastern syntaxis of the Himalaya: testing the erosion-tectonic feedback hypothesis by new provenance methods using rutile and zircon U-Pb in situ dating, and im

The capture of the Tsangpo by the Brahmuputra River and rapid exhumation of the Namche Barwa eastern syntaxis of the Himalaya: testing the erosion-tectonic feedback hypothesis by new provenance methods using rutile and zircon U-Pb in situ dating, and im

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The easternmost Himalaya is a very interesting place, geologically. Many structures and tectonostratigraphic elements converge where the structural trends bend sharply around the corner of NE India, and the Namche Barwa Massif is one of the earth’s most rapidly rising mountainous areas. The rapid rise there, documented by low temperature thermochronometers by several workers, has been suggested to arise from a tectonic-erosional feedback mechanism that followed headward erosion and capture of the Tsangpo by the Brahmuputra River, implying that one should be able to test this idea by dating capture and acceleration of uplift. Other features relevant are the Neogene rise of the Shillong Plateau, and continuing southerly translation of the Himalaya in Bhutan and Aranachal Pradesh over the Indian foreland. This talk will describe this problem and the application of innovative dating methods using zircon and rutile, and how this new data sheds light on whether capture took place, its age, and when the acceleration of exhumation started, using an archive of sediments deposited by the palaeo-Brahmaputra River in Bangladesh. The data point to the Quaternary as being a particular exciting time tectonically. This approach’s power in answering these questions will be illustrated by the new data, and the advantages of using rutile in provenance studies will be discussed more generally.

This talk is part of the Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) series.

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