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    Deciphering relationships between the Nicobar and Bengal submarine fans, Indian Ocean

    Pickering, K.T. and Carter, Andrew and Ando, S. and Garzanti, E. and Limonta, M. and Vezzoli, G. and Milliken, K.L. (2020) Deciphering relationships between the Nicobar and Bengal submarine fans, Indian Ocean. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 544 (116329), pp. 1-13. ISSN 0012-821X.

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    The Nicobar Fan and Bengal fans can be considered as the eastern and western parts, respectively, of the largest submarine-fan system in the world. This study presents the integrated results of petrographic and provenance studies from the Nicobar Fan and evaluates these in the context of controls on sedimentation. Both fans were predominantly supplied by Himalaya-derived material from the main tectono-stratigraphic sequences as well as the Gangdese arc. A lack of volcanic material in the Nicobar Fan rules out sources from the Sumatra magmatic arc. Overall, the petrographic data shows a progressive decrease in sedimentary detritus and corresponding increase of higher-grade metamorphic detritus up-section. Changes in sediment provenance and exhumation rates in the Himalaya are seen to track changes in sediment accumulation rates. High sediment accumulation rates in the Bengal Fan occurred at ∼13.5–8.3 Ma, and in the Nicobar Fan from ∼9.5–5 Ma. Both fans show peak accumulation rates at 9.5–8.3 Ma (but with the Nicobar Fan being about twice as high), and both record a sharp drop from ∼5.5–5.2 Ma, that coincided with a change in river drainage associated with the Brahmaputra River diverting west of the uplifting Shillong Plateau. At ∼5 Ma, the Nicobar Fan was supplied by an eastern drainage route that finally closed at ∼2 Ma, when sediment accumulation rates in the Nicobar Fan significantly decreased. Sediment provenance record these changes in routing whereby Bengal Fan deposits include granitoid sources from the Namche Barwa massif in the eastern syntaxis that are not seen in the Nicobar Fan, likely due to a more localised eastern drainage that included material from the Indo-Burman wedge. Prior to ∼3 Ma, source exhumation rates were rapid and constant, and the short lag-time rules out significant intermediate storage and mixing. In terms of climate versus tectonic controls, tectonically driven changes in the river network have had most influence on fan sedimentation.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Nicobar Fan, Bengal Fan, sediment provenance, IODP Expedition 362, Indian Ocean, Sunda subduction zone
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Earth and Planetary Sciences, Institute of
    Depositing User: Andy Carter
    Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2020 15:48
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:00


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