of Earth Sciences,
+31 30 253 1361
+31 30 243 1677
of Veronique Erens
record of tectonic-climate interactions in the Siwalik sediments of the
Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan
|The history of the
topography in the Himalaya orogen remains a major unresolved question with
important implication for understanding the erosional processes, the tectonic
history and the evolution of the climate during the uplift of the Himalaya.
Successful research requires a multidisciplinary approach involving geologic
tools as varied as structural geology, geochronology, geomorphology, geochemistry,
paleoclimatology, palynology, sedimentology and paleomagnetism.
the numerous geological investigations previously performed on the Himalayas,
there are still some important unresolved questions, especially on the
eastern side of the Himalaya region, in the remote kingdom of Bhutan. The
eastern Himalayas provide a unique opportunity to test the effect of climate
on mountain uplift.
The late Miocene uplift
of the Shillong plateau located to the south of Bhutan, in India, has created
a rain shadow shielding the eastern Himalayas from monsoonal precipitation
and resulting in a totally different exhumation and erosion history of
this part of the Himalayas (Grujic et al., 2006). This change has likely
been recorded in the Siwalik sediments that have been deposited during
the formation of the Himalayas.
Veronique in the field
|The aim of this project
- which is supervised by Guillaume
Dupont-Nivet, as part of his NWO VENI project - is to understand the
tectonic-climatic interactions in the Siwalik sediments of the Eastern
|Within a team of international
geoscientists studying the Siwalik sediments in Bhutan, the aim of this
research project is to date the sediments - using magnetostratigraphy -
to provide the age framework for all other aspects of the project. The
new paleomagnetic data of the Siwalik group in Buthan will add to previous
paleomagnetic results of the Siwalik group in Pakistan and in Nepal (Ohja
et al., 2000; Gautam et al., 1999, 2000), providing the first complete
regional description and time frame of the detrital record of the Himalayas.
|The study section
is the Siwalik group exposed in the Southwest of Bhutan, deposited during
the uplift of the Himalayan foreland basin (Ojha et al., 2000) and consisting
of a 2423 m thick siltstone sequence. Earlier paleomagnetic studies proved
that this section is suitable for obtainig good paleomagnetic results.
These will contribute to the tectonic history in the eastern part of the
Himalaya orogen during the uplift.
Publications of Veronique Erens
G., Dai, S., Fang, X., Krijgsman, W., Erens, V., Reitsma, M. and Langereis,
C.G. (2008). Timing and distribution of tectonic rotations in the northeastern
Tibetan plateau, In: Burchfiel, C. and Wang, E. (eds.), Investigations
into the Tectonics of the Tibetan Plateau, The Geological Society of
America Special Paper 444, 73–87, (doi: 10.1130/2008.2444).