1 Geology, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 Geological Survey of Canada3 University of California, Santa Barbara4 Geology, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet
Early evolution of the Himalayan orogen
Granulitized eclogite-facies rocks exposed in the Ama Drime Massif, south Tibet, were dated by Lu-Hf garnet geochronology. Garnet from the three samples analyzed yielded Lu-Hf ages of 37.5 ± 0.8 Ma, 36.0 ± 1.9 Ma, and 33.9 ± 0.8 Ma. Eclogitic garnet growth is estimated at ca. 38 Ma, the oldest age for burial of the lower Indian crust beneath Tibet reported from the central-eastern Himalaya. Granulite-facies overprinting followed at ca. 15–13 Ma, as indicated by U-Pb zircon ages. Unlike ultrahigh-pressure eclogites of the northwest Himalaya, the Ama Drime eclogites are not characteristic of rapid burial and exhumation of a cold subducted slab. The rocks instead resulted from crustal thickening during the early stages of continental collision, and resided in the lower-middle crust for >20 m.y. before they were exhumed and reheated. These new data provide solid evidence for the Indian crust having already reached at least ∼60 km thickness by the late Eocene.