The Timing of Collision Between Asia and the West Burma Terrane, and the Development of the Indo-Burman Ranges

Yani Najman, Edward R. Sobel, Ian Millar, Xiwu Luan, Sebastian Zapata, Eduardo Garzanti, Mauricio Parra, Giovanni Vezzoli, Peng Zhang, Day Wa Aung, Saw Mu Tha Lay Paw, Thae Naung Lwin

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The West Burma Terrane (WBT) is a small terrane bounded to the east by the Asian Sibumasu Block and to the west by the Indo-Burman Ranges (IBR), the latter being an exhumed accretionary prism that formed during subduction of Indian oceanic lithosphere beneath Asia. Understanding the geological history of the WBT is important for reconstruction of the closure history of the Tethys Ocean and India-Asia collision. Currently there are major discrepancies in the proposed timings of collision between the WBT with both India and Asia; whether the WBT collided with India or Asia first is debated, and proposed timings of collisions stretch from the Mesozoic to the Cenozoic. We undertook a multi-technique provenance study involving petrography, detrital zircon U-Pb and Hf analyses, rutile U-Pb analyses and Sr-Nd bulk rock analyses on sediments of the Central Myanmar Basins of the WBT. We determined that the first arrival of Asian material into the basin occurred after the earliest late Eocene and by the early Oligocene, thus placing a minimum constraint on the timing of WBT-Asia collision. Our low temperature thermochronological study of the IBR records two periods of exhumation, in the early-middle Eocene, and at the Oligo-Miocene boundary. The Eocene event may be associated with the collision of the WBT with India. The later event at the Oligo-Miocene boundary may be associated with changes in wedge dynamics resulting from increased sediment supply to the system; however a number of other possible causes provide equally plausible explanations for both events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021TC007057
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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