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Unroofing history of a suture zone in the Himalaya of Pakistan by means of fission-track annealing ages

January 1, 1982

The uplift history of the Swat Valley and Hazara region of northwestern Pakistan has been established using 22 fission-track dates on apatite, zircon and sphene. A major fault, the Main Mantle Thrust (MMT) strikes east-west across the Swat Valley, separates regions of markedly differing fission-track age regimesm, and may be a suture zone separating an extinct island arc terrane on the north from the Indian plate to the south. Fission-track ages ranging from about 55 to 58 m.y. for sphene, 18 to 53 m.y. for zircon, and 9 to 17 m.y. for apatite were obtained from the region north of the MMT. To the south the fission-track age ranges are 20 to 25 m.y. for sphene, 17 to 26 m.y. for zircon, and 16 to 23 m.y. for apatite. Disparate zircon and sphene ages on each side of the MMT imply different cooling histories for each side of the fault prior to 15 m.y. Similar apatite ages on both sides of the fault imply similar cooling histories during the past 15 m.y. This may indicate that faulting ceased by 15 m.y. Mean uplift rates have been derived from the fission-track data using mainly the mineral-pair method. Uplift rates in the region north of the MMT increased from 0.07 to 0.20 mm/yr during the period 55 to 15 m.y. South of the fault, uplift rates averaged in excess of 0.70 mm/yr for the period 25 to 15 m.y. During the past 15 m.y. uplift across the MMT in the Swat Valley showsno discontinuities, ranging from 0.16 mm/yr in the south to 0.39 mm/yr in the north. A plausible interpretation for the fission-track uplift data has the MMT verging to the south with overthrusting taking place at a depth between 3.5 and 6.0 km, juxtaposing two terranes that were originally separated by a substantial, but unknown distance. In this model, regional uplift followed cessation of faulting just prior to 15 m.y.

Publication Year 1982
Title Unroofing history of a suture zone in the Himalaya of Pakistan by means of fission-track annealing ages
DOI 10.1016/0012-821X(82)90187-X
Authors P.K. Zeitler, R.A.K. Tahirkheli, C.W. Naeser, N.M. Johnson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Index ID 70011763
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse