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Article: Greater India

TitleGreater India
Authors
KeywordsGondwana
Indian Ocean
Palaeogeography
Tethys
Wallaby Plateau
Issue Date2005
PublisherElsevier BV. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/earscirev
Citation
Earth-Science Reviews, 2005, v. 72 n. 3-4, p. 169-188 How to Cite?
Abstract"Greater India" is an 80-yr-old concept that has been used by geoscientists in plate tectonic models of the India-Asia collision system. Numerous authors working on the orogen and/or plate models of the broader region have added various sized chunks of continental lithosphere to the now northern edge of their reconstructed Indian plate. Prior to plate tectonic theory, Emile Argand (1924) [Argand, E., 1924. La tectonique de l' Asie. Proc. 13th Int. Geol. Cong. 7 (1924), 171-372.] and Arthur Holmes (1965) [Holmes, A., 1965. Principles of Physical Geology, Second Edition. The Ronald Press Company, New York, 1128.] thought that the Himalayan Mountains and Tibetan Plateau had been raised due to the northern edge of the Indian craton under-thrusting the entire region. Since the advent of plate tectonic theory, Greater India proposals have been based principally on three lines of logic. One group of workers has added various amounts of continental lithosphere to India as part of their Mesozoic Gondwana models. A second form of reconstruction is based on Himalayan crustal-shortening estimates. A third body of researchers has used India continent extensions as means of allowing initial contact between the block and the Eurasian backstop plate in southern Tibet to take place at various times between the Late Cretaceous and late Eocene in what we call "fill-the-gap" solutions. The Indian craton and the southern edge of Eurasia were almost invariably some distance from one another when the collision was supposed to have started; extensions to the sub-continent were used to circumvent the problem. Occasionally, Greater India extensions have been based on a combination of fill-the-gap and shortening estimate arguments. In this paper, we exhume and re-examine the key Greater India proposals. From our analysis, it is clear that many proponents have ignored key information regarding the sub-continent's pre break-up position within Gondwana and the bathymetry of the Indian Ocean west of Australia, in particular the Wallaby-Zenith Plateau Ridge and the Wallaby-Zenith Fracture Zone. We suggest that the Indian continent probably extended no more than 950 km in the central portion of the Main Boundary Thrust, up to the Wallaby-Zenith Fracture Zone. At the Western Syntaxis, the extension was about 600 km. These estimates are broadly compatible with some of the geophysically-derived models depicting subducted Indian lithosphere beneath Tibet, as well as estimates of Himalayan shortening. Models requiring sub-continent extensions >9° ahead of the craton are probably wrong. We also suggest that northern India did not have a thinned rifted passive margin due to the earlier rifting of blocks away from it when it formed part of Gondwana. Instead, the boundary developed as a transform fault and probably had a very narrow ocean-continent transition zone (5-10 km wide), similar to the Romanche Fracture Zone offshore of Ghana, West Africa. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/72991
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 6.991
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 3.752
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorAli, JRen_HK
dc.contributor.authorAitchison, JCen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-06T06:47:01Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-06T06:47:01Z-
dc.date.issued2005en_HK
dc.identifier.citationEarth-Science Reviews, 2005, v. 72 n. 3-4, p. 169-188en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0012-8252en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/72991-
dc.description.abstract"Greater India" is an 80-yr-old concept that has been used by geoscientists in plate tectonic models of the India-Asia collision system. Numerous authors working on the orogen and/or plate models of the broader region have added various sized chunks of continental lithosphere to the now northern edge of their reconstructed Indian plate. Prior to plate tectonic theory, Emile Argand (1924) [Argand, E., 1924. La tectonique de l' Asie. Proc. 13th Int. Geol. Cong. 7 (1924), 171-372.] and Arthur Holmes (1965) [Holmes, A., 1965. Principles of Physical Geology, Second Edition. The Ronald Press Company, New York, 1128.] thought that the Himalayan Mountains and Tibetan Plateau had been raised due to the northern edge of the Indian craton under-thrusting the entire region. Since the advent of plate tectonic theory, Greater India proposals have been based principally on three lines of logic. One group of workers has added various amounts of continental lithosphere to India as part of their Mesozoic Gondwana models. A second form of reconstruction is based on Himalayan crustal-shortening estimates. A third body of researchers has used India continent extensions as means of allowing initial contact between the block and the Eurasian backstop plate in southern Tibet to take place at various times between the Late Cretaceous and late Eocene in what we call "fill-the-gap" solutions. The Indian craton and the southern edge of Eurasia were almost invariably some distance from one another when the collision was supposed to have started; extensions to the sub-continent were used to circumvent the problem. Occasionally, Greater India extensions have been based on a combination of fill-the-gap and shortening estimate arguments. In this paper, we exhume and re-examine the key Greater India proposals. From our analysis, it is clear that many proponents have ignored key information regarding the sub-continent's pre break-up position within Gondwana and the bathymetry of the Indian Ocean west of Australia, in particular the Wallaby-Zenith Plateau Ridge and the Wallaby-Zenith Fracture Zone. We suggest that the Indian continent probably extended no more than 950 km in the central portion of the Main Boundary Thrust, up to the Wallaby-Zenith Fracture Zone. At the Western Syntaxis, the extension was about 600 km. These estimates are broadly compatible with some of the geophysically-derived models depicting subducted Indian lithosphere beneath Tibet, as well as estimates of Himalayan shortening. Models requiring sub-continent extensions >9° ahead of the craton are probably wrong. We also suggest that northern India did not have a thinned rifted passive margin due to the earlier rifting of blocks away from it when it formed part of Gondwana. Instead, the boundary developed as a transform fault and probably had a very narrow ocean-continent transition zone (5-10 km wide), similar to the Romanche Fracture Zone offshore of Ghana, West Africa. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.publisherElsevier BV. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/earscireven_HK
dc.relation.ispartofEarth-Science Reviewsen_HK
dc.rightsEarth - Science Reviews. Copyright © Elsevier BV.en_HK
dc.subjectGondwanaen_HK
dc.subjectIndian Oceanen_HK
dc.subjectPalaeogeographyen_HK
dc.subjectTethysen_HK
dc.subjectWallaby Plateauen_HK
dc.titleGreater Indiaen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.openurlhttp://library.hku.hk:4550/resserv?sid=HKU:IR&issn=0012-8252&volume=72&spage=169&epage=188&date=2005&atitle=Greater+Indiaen_HK
dc.identifier.emailAli, JR: jrali@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.emailAitchison, JC: jona@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityAli, JR=rp00659en_HK
dc.identifier.authorityAitchison, JC=rp00658en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1016/j.earscirev.2005.07.005en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-27244445334en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros120177en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-27244445334&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume72en_HK
dc.identifier.issue3-4en_HK
dc.identifier.spage169en_HK
dc.identifier.epage188en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000233109500002-
dc.publisher.placeNetherlandsen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridAli, JR=7102266465en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridAitchison, JC=7102533858en_HK

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