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Tectonic control of Yarlung Tsangpo Gorge revealed by a buried canyon in Southern Tibet

  • The Himalayan mountains are dissected by some of the deepest and most impressive gorges on Earth. Constraining the interplay between river incision and rock uplift is important for understanding tectonic deformation in this region. We report here the discovery of a deeply incised canyon of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, at the eastern end of the Himalaya, which is now buried under more than 500 meters of sediments. By reconstructing the former valley bottom and dating sediments at the base of the valley fill, we show that steepening of the Tsangpo Gorge started at about 2 million to 2.5 million years ago as a consequence of an increase in rock uplift rates. The high erosion rates within the gorge are therefore a direct consequence of rapid rock uplift.

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Author:Ping Wang, Dirk Scherler, Jing Liu-Zeng, Jürgen MeyORCiDGND, Jean-Philippe Avouac, Yunda Zhang, Dingguo Shi
ISSN:0036-8075 (print)
ISSN:1095-9203 (online)
Pubmed Id:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=25414309
Parent Title (English):Science
Publisher:American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science
Place of publication:Washington
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2014
Year of Completion:2014
Release Date:2017/03/27
First Page:978
Last Page:981
Funder:National Natural Science Foundation of China [41372211, 41172179]; State Key Laboratory for Earthquake Dynamics [LED2013A07]; Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Erd- und Umweltwissenschaften
Peer Review:Referiert