The Yarlung suture mélange, Lopu Range, southern Tibet: Provenance of sandstone blocks and transition from oceanic subduction to continental collision
AffiliationDepartment of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
CitationThe Yarlung suture mélange, Lopu Range, southern Tibet: Provenance of sandstone blocks and transition from oceanic subduction to continental collision 2017, 48:15 Gondwana Research
Rights© 2017 International Association for Gondwana Research. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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AbstractWith the aim of better understanding the history of ocean closure and suturing between India and Asia, we conducted a geologic investigation of a siliciclastic matrix tectonic melange within the western Yarlung suture zone of southern Tibet (Lopu Range region, similar to 50 km northwest of Saga). The siliciclastic matrix melange includes abundant blocks of ocean plate stratigraphy and sparse blocks of sandstone. Metapelite and metabasite blocks in the melange exhibit lower greenschist fades mineral assemblages, indicating that they were not deeply subducted. We obtained detrital zircon U-Pb geochronologic and sandstone petrographic data from sandstone blocks in the melange and sandstone beds from Tethyan Himalayan strata exposed to the south of the suture. The sandstones from both units are all similar in U-Pb detrital zircon age spectra and petrography to the nearby Tethyan Cretaceous-Paleocene Sangdanlin section, which records the earliest appearance (at similar to 59 Ma) of arc-affinity strata deposited conformably on Indian-affinity strata. Two Paleocene sandstones, one of which is a schistose block incorporated in the siliciclastic matrix melange, yielded indistinguishable maximum depositional ages of similar to 59 Ma. Mesozoic Asian-affinity sandstone blocks previously documented in the siliciclastic matrix melange 200-500 km along strike to the east are notably absent in the Lopu Range region. We documented a gradational transition in structural style from the block-in-matrix melange in the northeast to the south-vergent Tethyan thrust belt in the southwest. Blocks of Tethyan Himalayan strata increase in size and the volumetric proportion of matrix decreases from northeast to southwest. We conclude that no arc-affinity sandstone blocks were incorporated into the subduction complex until India-Asia collision at similar to 59 Ma when the Xigaze forearc basin became overfilled and Tethyan Himalayan strata entered the trench. As collision progressed, there was a gradual transition in structural style from block-in-matrix melange formation to imbricate-style thrust belt formation. (C) 2017 International Association for Gondwana Research. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Note24 month embargo; Available online 8 March 2017.
VersionFinal accepted manuscript
SponsorsNSF [EAR-1008527, EAR-1338583]; Chevron Texaco; Peter J. Coney scholarship fund