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Inverted metamorphism in the pre-Siwalik foreland basin sediments beneath the crystalline nappe, western Nepal Himalaya

, : Inverted metamorphism in the pre-Siwalik foreland basin sediments beneath the crystalline nappe, western Nepal Himalaya. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 17(5-6): 0-739

One of the Pre-Siwalik foreland basin sedimentary units, the Dumri Formation, is tectonically covered by the Lesser Himalayan Crystalline nappe and the Kuncha-Naudanda thrust sheet. It is narrowly distributed in the eastern margin of the Karnali klippe along the NNE–SSW trending Chakure Fault. The whole sequence of the fluvial Dumri Formation attaining 1500 m in thickness is weakly metamorphosed to muscovite phyllite and foliated phyllitic sandstone. The metamorphic grade decreases stratigraphically downward and underlying Nummulitic limestone of the middle Eocene Bhainskati Formation is converted into a slaty limestone. No metamorphic mica is detected from the late Cretaceous to Paleocene Amile Formation below the Bhainskati Formation. These facts indicate that the Tansen Group has undergone inverted metamorphism.A 40Ar/39Ar plateau age of 25.69±0.13 Ma was obtained from garnetiferous biotite gneiss in the lower part of the crystalline nappe. Another 40Ar/39Ar age spectrum from muscovite phyllite of the Dumri Formation suggests that metamorphism occurred at 16–17 Ma. The origin of the inverted metamorphism limited to the uppermost part of the Lesser Himalayan autochthon can be attributed to heat from the hot crystalline nappe and shearing along the sole thrust of the Kuncha-Naudanda thrust sheet. The depositional age of the Dumri Formation is estimated to be ∼26–17 Ma.Provenance of the Dumri Formation is considered to be from the Naudanda Quartzite, the Kuncha Formation and the Tibetan Tethys sediments, because the sandstone contains orthoquartzite pebbles, phyllitic lithic fragments and a sparry calcite cement. The sedimentary facies indicates deposition by meandering rivers on flood-plains in the distal part of the foreland basin. No proximal facies, such as alluvial fan and pebbly braided river deposits, could be detected from the formation, though it is near the Main Central Thrust (MCT). The northern continuation of the foreland basin sediments must be concealed beneath the Higher Himalayan Crystalline. Judging from the present distribution of the Dumri Formation from the south of the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) to near the MCT and from the shortening of the Lesser Himalayan sediments by thrusts and folds, the width of the foreland basin where the Dumri Formation was deposited is estimated to have been more than 300 km.


DOI: 10.1016/s1367-9120(99)00035-8

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