Tectonic implications of Palaeoproterozoic anatexis and Late Miocene metamorphism in the Lesser Himalayan Sequence, Sutlej Valley, NW India
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Unravelling the kinematic evolution of orogenic belts requires that the defining tectonostratigraphic units, and structural elements that bound them, are properly identified and characterized. In the Sutlej Valley (western Himalaya), the Munsiari and Vaikrita thrusts have both been correlated with the Main Central Thrust. The sequence of amphibolite-grade rocks (the Jutogh Group) bounded by these faults has been variously assigned to the Lesser Himalayan Sequence (based on provenance ages) and to the Greater Himalayan Sequence (from its metamorphic grade). Trace-element and geochronological data from leucogranites in the Jutogh Group (1) indicate crustal melting at c. 1810 Ma, before the deposition of the Greater Himalayan Sequence, thus correlating the Jutogh Group with the Lesser Himalayan Sequence, and (2) record Proterozoic metamorphism overprinted at 10.5 ± 1.1 Ma (established from U–Pb analysis of uraninite) during the Himalayan orogeny. Pressure–temperature–time data indicate that the Jutogh Group and Greater Himalayan Sequence represent distinct tectonic units of the metamorphic core that were decoupled during their extrusion. This precludes extrusion along a single, widening channel, and requires a southward shift of the locus of movement during the Late Miocene, coincident with present-day precipitation patterns.