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Timing of India-Asia collision: Geological, biostratigraphic, and palaeomagnetic constraints

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

  • Yani Najman
  • Erwin Appel
  • Marcelle Boudagher-Fadel
  • Paul Bown
  • Andy Carter
  • Eduardo Garzanti
  • Laurent Godin
  • Jingtai Han
  • Ursina Liebke
  • Grahame Oliver
  • Randy Parrish
  • Giovanni Vezzoli
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Journal publication date21/12/2010
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Journal numbern/a
Volume115
Number of pages18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

A range of ages have been proposed for the timing of India-Asia collision; the range to some extent reflects different definitions of collision and methods used to date it. In this paper we discuss three approaches that have been used to constrain the time of collision: the time of cessation of marine facies, the time of the first arrival of Asian detritus on the Indian plate, and the determination of the relative positions of India and Asia through time. In the Qumiba sedimentary section located south of the Yarlung Tsangpo suture in Tibet, a previous work has dated marine facies at middle to late Eocene, by far the youngest marine sediments recorded in the region. By contrast, our biostratigraphic data indicate the youngest marine facies preserved at this locality are 50.6–52.8 Ma, in broad agreement with the timing of cessation of marine facies elsewhere throughout the region. Double dating of detrital zircons from this formation, by U-Pb and fission track methods, indicates an Asian contribution to the rocks thus documenting the time of arrival of Asian material onto the Indian plate at this time and hence constraining the time of India-Asia collision. Our reconstruction of the positions of India and Asia by using a compilation of published palaeomagnetic data indicates initial contact between the continents in the early Eocene. We conclude the paper with a discussion on the viability of a recent assertion that collision between India and Asia could not have occurred prior to ∼35 Ma.

Bibliographic note

Copyright 2010 American Geophysical Union.