The Late Miocene through Modern Evolution of the Zhada Basin, South-Western Tibet
AuthorSaylor, Joel Edward
Lacustrine Sequence Stratigraphy
AdvisorDeCelles, Peter G
Committee ChairDeCelles, Peter G
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe uplift history of the Tibetan Plateau is poorly constrained in part due to its complex and extended tectonic history. This study uses basin analysis, stable isotope analysis, magnetostratigraphy, detrital zircon U-Pb dating, and paleoaltimetry, and frequency analysis to reconstruct the tectonic, spatial, and environmental evolution of the Zhada basin in southwestern Tibet since the late Miocene. The Zhada Formation, which occupies the Zhada basin and consists of ~ 850 m of fluvial, alluvial fan, eolian, and lacustrine sediments, is undeformed and lies in angular unconformity above Tethyan sedimentary sequence strata. The most negative Miocene δ¹⁸Opsw (paleo-surface water) values reconstructed from aquatic gastropods are significantly more negative than the most negative modern δ¹⁸O(sw) (surface water) values. In the absence of any known climate change which would have produced this difference, we interpret it as indicating a decrease in elevation in the catchment between the late Miocene and the present. Basin analysis indicates that the decrease in elevation was accomplished by two low-angle detachment faults which root beneath the Zhada basin and exhume mid-crustal rocks. This exhumation results from ongoing arc-parallel extension and provides accommodation for Zhada basin fill. Sequence stratigraphy shows that the basin evolved from an overfilled to an underfilled basin but that further evolution was truncated by an abrupt return to overfilled, incising conditions. This evolution is linked to progressive damming of the paleo-Sutlej River. During the underfilled portion of basin evolution, depositional environments were strongly influenced by Milancovitch cyclicity: particularly at the precession and eccentricity frequencies.