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River network evolution as a major control for orogenic exhumation: Case study from the western Tibetan plateau

Abstract : The westernmost Tibetan plateau, despite being internally drained, has a high topographic relief. Here, using apatite (U–Th–Sm)/He and 4He/3He thermochronometry, we reconstruct the exhumation history of the Rutog batholith during the Neogene. Thermal modeling in 1D using the QTQt program indicates that relatively slow cooling occurred from 30 Ma to 19 Ma, which we interpret as an exhumation rate of ∼10 m/Ma. This was followed by two pulses of moderate cooling from 19 to 17 Ma and ∼11 to 9 Ma that correspond to a total exhumation of about 1500 m. Cooling since 9 Ma has been negligible. This differs from exhumation patterns in central Tibet but reveals timing similarities with externally drained portions of southern Tibet. We interpret our cooling constraints as recording two different transitions in western Tibet from an externally to an internally drained system since the Oligocene. External drainage allowed this part of the Tibetan plateau, unlike internally drained portions of central Tibet, to record regional-scale processes. The first cooling event, at about 20 Ma, was likely related to a major geodynamic event such as slab breakoff that induced contemporaneous potassic and ultrapotassic magmatism. The second rapid cooling pulse from ∼11 Ma to 9 Ma and subsequent negligible cooling was most likely controlled by a local factor such as Indus and Shyok river network reorganization caused by dextral motion of the Karakorum fault. We discuss these interpretations and their limitations in this contribution.
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Contributor : Sylvaine Jouhannel Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Friday, November 17, 2017 - 1:45:56 PM
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Loraine Gourbet, Gweltaz Mahéo, David L. Shuster, Alka Tripathy-Lang, Philippe Hervé Leloup, et al.. River network evolution as a major control for orogenic exhumation: Case study from the western Tibetan plateau. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier, 2016, 456, pp.168 - 181. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2016.09.037⟩. ⟨hal-01637169⟩



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