University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) > Life and times in the Cambrian and its stratigraphic constraints on Himalayan geology, tectonics, and uplift history

Life and times in the Cambrian and its stratigraphic constraints on Himalayan geology, tectonics, and uplift history

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The advent of the Cambrian was pivotal in geological history , and was associated with a major increase in both animal diversity and in magmatic activity in Gondwanaland. As a time of high stand, Cambrian rocks are widely represented worldwide, but remain poorly known in some areas, such as the Himalaya. The Himalaya is key to our understanding of processes associated with continent-continent collision. Such understanding relies on the recognition of the major “lithotectonic zones” of the Himalaya which show fundamental differences in lithology, geochemistry and provenance. How do these lithotectonic zones relate to the condition of the margin prior to collision? This question is critical for understanding not only the history of the margin prior to collision, but also to constraining the uplift and erosional history since collision. By focusing on rocks of a particular stratigraphic unit – the Cambrian System – along and across the Himalayan margin, we have shown original continuity of the margin throughout the major lithotectonic zones of the Himalaya. Such a result raises questions about some established ideas in Himalayan geology and may have implications for considerations of Neogene uplift history, particularly of that of the Lesser Himalaya. Our results also bear on environmental changes taking place during the Cambrian, and their possible role in guiding the Cambrian and Ordovician evolutionary radiations.

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

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