Flexural deformation controls on Late Quaternary sediment dispersal in the Garo-Rajmahal Gap, NW Bengal Basin

Jean Louis Grimaud, Celine Grall, Steven Goodbred, Michael S. Steckler, Ryan Sincavage, Jennifer L. Pickering, Chris Paola, Leonardo Seeber, Md Saddam Hossain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Subsurface deformation is a driver for river path selection when deformation rates become comparable to the autogenic mobility rate of rivers. Here we combine geomorphology, soil and sediment facies analyses, and geophysical data of the Late Quaternary sediments of the central Garo-Rajmahal Gap in Northwest Bengal to link subsurface deformation with surface processes. We show variable sedimentation characteristics, from slow rates ('0.8 mm/year) in the Tista megafan at the foot of the Himalaya to nondeposition at the exposed surface of the Barind Tract to the south, enabling the development of mature soils. Combined subsidence in the Tista fan and uplift of the Barind Tract are consistent with a N-S flexural response of the Indian plate to loading of the Himalaya Mountains given a low value of elastic thickness (15–25 km). Provenance analysis based on bulk strontium concentration suggests a dispersal of sediment consistent with this flexural deformation—in particular the abandonment of the Barind Tract by a Pleistocene Brahmaputra River and the current extents of the Tista megafan lobes. Overall, these results highlight the control by deeply rooted deformation patterns on the routing of sediment by large rivers in foreland settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1252-1270
Number of pages19
JournalBasin Research
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Keywords

  • geophysics
  • river
  • sediment routing
  • tectonics
  • weathering

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    Grimaud, J. L., Grall, C., Goodbred, S., Steckler, M. S., Sincavage, R., Pickering, J. L., Paola, C., Seeber, L., & Hossain, M. S. (2020). Flexural deformation controls on Late Quaternary sediment dispersal in the Garo-Rajmahal Gap, NW Bengal Basin. Basin Research, 32(5), 1252-1270. https://doi.org/10.1111/bre.12425