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    A critical appraisal of the sensitivity of detrital Zircon U–Pb provenance data to constrain drainage network evolution in Southeast Tibet

    Li, S. and Najman, Y. and Vermeesch, P. and Barfod, D.N. and Millar, I. and Carter, Andrew (2024) A critical appraisal of the sensitivity of detrital Zircon U–Pb provenance data to constrain drainage network evolution in Southeast Tibet. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface 129 (2), ISSN 0148-0227.

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    Abstract

    Provenance tools, particularly detrital zircon U–Pb analysis, have been widely employed to test drainage network evolution in southeast Tibet and its linkage with the growth of the Tibetan Plateau. Numerous provenance studies have been conducted on the sediments in the paleo-Yangtze and paleo-Red River drainage basins. Nevertheless, it is still hotly debated as to whether a “Mississippi” (dendritic) pattern Greater paleo-Red River, originating from southeast Tibet and draining to the South China Sea, existed in the early Cenozoic, and was subsequently captured by the paleo-lower Yangtze due to uplift of southeastern Tibet. In this study, in addition to presenting new data from the Gonjo and Jianchuan basins along which the Greater paleo-Red River is proposed to have flowed, we compiled all the published detrital zircon U–Pb data from the paleo-upper Yangtze and paleo-Red River drainage basins from Triassic and younger rocks. Our large database of detrital zircon U–Pb analyses shows that the different terranes in the paleo-upper Yangtze and paleo-Red River drainage basins have similar zircon U–Pb signatures since the Late Triassic closure of the Paleo-Tethys Ocean. Therefore, most of the sediments in the Cenozoic sedimentary basins in southeast Tibet could have been either deposited by long-distance transport in large rivers from southeast Tibet or recycled from local bedrock. Given the potential importance of sedimentary recycling that we have demonstrated, this poses challenges to the use of detrital zircon U–Pb analyses to determine paleodrainage in this region. We therefore further explored the previously relatively limited use of Sr–Nd isotopes on mudstones and detrital mica 40Ar/39Ar ages, with new analyses from the Gonjo and Jianchuan Basins, to determine if these techniques were better suited to reconstruct paleodrainage evolution. Whilst these techniques do show some promise, more analyses and strategic sampling are required to obtain a full understanding of the extent of their potential utility. Overall, our integrated provenance study indicates that the available data are not sufficiently conclusive to support or refute the Greater paleo-Red River capture model.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2024 14:45
    Last Modified: 24 Apr 2024 17:50
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/53260

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