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Magneto-chemical signature of the Lower-to-Middle Siwaliks transition in the Karnali River section (Western Nepal): Implications for Himalayan tectonics and climate

Gautam, Pitambar and Huyghe, Pascale and Mugnier, Jean-Louis and Regmi, Kamal Raj (2019) Magneto-chemical signature of the Lower-to-Middle Siwaliks transition in the Karnali River section (Western Nepal): Implications for Himalayan tectonics and climate. Geological Journal, TBC . pp. 1-14. ISSN 0072-1050

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    Abstract

    Fluviatile sediments comprising a 600-m-thick sequence of the Lower and Middle Siwaliks in the Karnali area in Nepal exhibit a distinct zonation revealed by magnetic and geochemical properties. Four magneto-chemical zones (MCZ1–MCZ4), each about 150 m thick and 400 kyr in duration, provide new insights into Himalayan tectono-climatic events during the Tortonian (Miocene) stage. They exhibit contrasting magnetic susceptibility and isothermal remanence due to differences in magnetic mineral types (magnetite, haematite, and goethite) and concentrations. Oddnumbered zones with higher goethite/(goethite + haematite) ratio, a moisture proxy, indicate wetter conditions in the source area, while the even-numbered zones, virtually without goethite, suggest drier conditions. Chemical indices of alteration/ weathering and proxies for hydraulic sorting and mobility derived from the major element compositions also reveal contrasts among these zones. The middle of the MCZ2–MCZ3 zone, with a transitional magneto-chemical signature, is the best candidate for the Lower-to-Middle Siwaliks contact, rather than the field-based boundary placed 18 m up-section at the base of the thick salt-and-pepper sandstone bed. The transition records an increase in river energy and associated accelerated erosion of the Himalayan gneiss zone as the source of coarse-grained material. We suggest a scenario, whereby climate change from drier to wetter (with higher precipitation) conditions affects erosional processes (i.e., weathering, disaggregation and particle transport on the hillslope) prevailing in a large catchment and influencing the depositional modes. KEYWORDS chemical index of alteration, climate, geochemistry, goethite, magnetism, Siwalik, Sub- Himalaya

    Item Type: Journal Article
    Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
    Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
    Depositing User: Kamal Regmi
    Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2020 12:25
    Last Modified: 06 Jan 2020 12:25
    URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/11881
    UNSPECIFIED

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