Cenozoic epeirogeny of the Indian peninsula
Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
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Richards, F., Hoggard, M., & White, N. (2016). Cenozoic epeirogeny of the Indian peninsula. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 17 4920-4954. https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GC006545
Peninsular India is a cratonic region with asymmetric relief manifest by eastward tilting from the 1.5 km high Western Ghats escarpment toward the flood-plains of eastward-draining rivers. Oceanic residual depth measurements on either side of India show that this west-east asymmetry is broader scale, occurring over distances of >2,000 km. Admittance analysis of free-air gravity and topography shows that the elastic thickness is 10 ± 3 km, suggesting that regional uplift is not solely caused by flexural loading. To investigate how Indian physiography is generated, we have jointly inverted 530 river profiles to determine rock uplift rate as a function of space and time. Key erosional parameters are calibrated using independent geologic constraints (e.g. emergent marine deposits, elevated paleosurfaces, uplifted lignite deposits). Our results suggest that regional tilt grew at rates of up to 0.1 mm a‾¹ between 25 Ma and the present day. Neogene uplift initiated in the south and propagated northward along the western margin. This calculated history is corroborated by low-temperature ther- mochronologic observations, by sedimentary flux of clastic deposits into the Krishna- Godavari delta, and by sequence stratigraphic architecture along adjacent rifted margins. Onset of regional uplift predates intensification of the Indian monsoon at 8 Ma, suggesting that rock uplift rather than climatic change is responsible for modern-day relief. A positive correlation between residual depth measure- ments and shear wave velocities beneath the lithosphere suggests that regional uplift is generated and maintained by temperature anomalies of ±100 ⁰C within a 200 ± 25 km thick asthenospheric channel.
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/2016GC006545
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/261850