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  1. Abstract

    Large-scale geological structures have controlled the long-term development of the bed and thus the flow of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS). However, complete ice cover has obscured the age and exact positions of faults and geological boundaries beneath Thwaites Glacier and Pine Island Glacier, two major WAIS outlets in the Amundsen Sea sector. Here, we characterize the only rock outcrop between these two glaciers, which was exposed by the retreat of slow-flowing coastal ice in the early 2010s to form the new Sif Island. The island comprises granite, zircon U-Pb dated to ~177–174 Ma and characterized by initial ɛNd,87Sr/86Sr and ɛHfisotope compositions of -2.3, 0.7061 and -1.3, respectively. These characteristics resemble Thurston Island/Antarctic Peninsula crustal block rocks, strongly suggesting that the Sif Island granite belongs to this province and placing the crustal block's boundary with the Marie Byrd Land province under Thwaites Glacier or its eastern shear margin. Low-temperature thermochronological data reveal that the granite underwent rapid cooling following emplacement, rapidly cooled again at ~100–90 Ma and then remained close to the Earth's surface until present. These data help date vertical displacement across the major tectonic structure beneath Pine Island Glacier to the Late Cretaceous.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 20, 2025
  2. West Antarctica hosts an unusually high geothermal gradient supported by hot, low-viscosity mantle which likely enhanced the lithospheric response to West Antarctic Ice Sheet [WAIS] cycles of growth and increased the sensitivity of thermochronometers to landscape evolution. Thus a valuable record of glacial landscape change might be recovered from apatite fission track [AFT 80-130°C range] and (U-Th)/He [AHe; 50-90°C]dating, provided that landscape evolution can be distinguished from tectonic signals, including the effects of faults. This study utilizes AFT-AHe thermochronology and thermo-kinematic Pecube modeling to investigate interactions between the hot geotherm, glacial erosion, and inferred crustal structures in the Ford Ranges and the DeVicq Glacier trough in Marie Byrd Land (MBL). The Ford Ranges host glacial troughs (up to 3km relief) dissecting a low-relief erosional surface. Previous work suggests a majority of bedrock exhumation and cooling occurred at/by 80 Ma. However, new data hint at renewed exhumation linked to glacial incision since WAIS formation at 34 or 20 Ma. Prior (U-Th)/He zircon dates from exposures of crystalline bedrock span 90 – 67 Ma. New AHe bedrock dates are 41 to 26 Ma, while two glacial erratics (presumed to be eroded from walls or floor of glacial troughs) yielded AHe dates of 37 Ma and 16 Ma. The DeVicq Glacier trough (>3.5km relief) likely coincides with a regional fault but lacks temperature-time information compared to other regions. The structure may have accommodated motion between elevated central MBL and the subdued crust of the Ford Ranges. We are acquiring AHe and AFT for onshore and offshore samples to compare uplift and exhumation rates for bedrock flanking DeVicq trough. Our new Pecube models test a series of thermal, tectonic, and landscape evolution scenarios against a suite of thermochronologic data, allowing us to assess the timing of glacial incision and WAIS initiation in the FordRanges, and to seek evidence of an inferred tectonic boundary at DeVicq Trough. Modeling efforts will be aided by new AHe analyses from ongoing work. These models combine topographic, tectonic, thermal, and key thermochronologic datasets to produce new insight into the unique cryosphere-lithosphere interactions affecting landscape change in West Antarctica. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT The stratigraphic record of Cenozoic uplift and denudation of the Himalayas is distributed across its peripheral foreland basins, as well as in the sediments of the Ganges–Brahmaputra Delta (GBD) and the Bengal–Nicobar Fan (BNF). Recent interrogation of Miocene–Quaternary sediments of the GBD and BNF advance our knowledge of Himalayan sediment dispersal and its relationship to regional tectonics and climate, but these studies are limited to IODP boreholes from the BNF (IODP 354 and 362, 2015-16) and Quaternary sediment cores from the GBD (NSF-PIRE: Life on a tectonically active delta, 2010-18). We examine a complementary yet understudied stratigraphic record of the Miocene–Pliocene ancestral Brahmaputra Delta in outcrops of the Indo-Burman Ranges fold–thrust belt (IBR) of eastern India. We present detailed lithofacies assemblages of Neogene delta plain (Tipam Group) and intertidal to upper-shelf (Surma Group) deposits of the IBR based on two ∼ 500 m stratigraphic sections. New detrital-apatite fission-track (dAFT) and (U-Th)/He (dAHe) dates from the Surma Group in the IBR help to constrain maximum depositional ages (MDA), thermal histories, and sediment accumulation rates. Three fluvial facies (F1–F3) and four shallow marine to intertidal facies (M1–M4) are delineated based on analog depositional environments of the Holocene–modern GBD. Unreset dAFT and dAHe ages constrain MDA to ∼ 9–11 Ma for the Surma Group, which is bracketed by intensification of turbidite deposition on the eastern BNF (∼ 13.5–6.8 Ma). Two dAHe samples yielded younger (∼ 3 Ma) reset ages that we interpret to record cooling from denudation following burial resetting due to a thicker (∼ 2.2–3.2 km) accumulation of sediments near the depocenter. Thermal modeling of the dAFT and dAHe results using QTQt and HeFTy suggest that late Miocene marginal marine sediment accumulation rates may have ranged from ∼ 0.9 to 1.1 mm/yr near the center of the paleodelta. Thermal modeling results imply postdepositional cooling beginning at ∼ 8–6.5 Ma, interpreted to record onset of exhumation associated with the advancing IBR fold belt. The timing of post-burial exhumation of the IBR strata is consistent with previously published constraints for the avulsion of the paleo-Brahmaputra to the west and a westward shift of turbidite deposition on the BNF that started at ∼ 6.8 Ma. Our results contextualize tectonic controls on basin history, creating a pathway for future investigations into autogenic and climatic drivers of behavior of fluvial systems that can be extracted from the stratigraphic record. 
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  4. Abstract

    The Bengal Basin preserves the erosional signals of coupled tectonic‐climatic change during late Cenozoic development of the Himalayan orogen, yet regional correlation and interpretation of these signals remains incomplete. We present a new geologic map of fluvial‐deltaic deposits of the Indo‐Burman Ranges (IBR), five detrital zircon fission track analyses, and twelve high‐n detrital zircon U‐Pb age distributions (dzUPb) from the Barail (late Eocene–early Miocene), Surma (early–late Miocene), and Tipam (late Miocene–Pliocene) Groups of the ancestral Brahmaputra delta. We use dzUPb statistical tests to correlate the IBR units with equivalent age strata throughout the Bengal Basin. An influx of trans‐Himalayan sediment and the first appearance of ∼50 Ma grains of the Gangdese batholith in the lower Surma Group (∼18–15 Ma) records the early Miocene arrival of the ancestral Brahmaputra delta to the Bengal Basin. Contributions from Himalayan sources systematically decrease up section through the late Miocene as the contribution of Trans‐Himalayan Arc sources increases. The Miocene (∼18–8 Ma) deposition of the Surma Group records upstream expansion of the ancestral Brahmaputra River into southeastern Tibet. Late Miocene (<8 Ma) progradation of the fluvial part of the delta (Tipam Group) routed trans‐Himalayan sediment over the shelf edge to the Nicobar Fan. We propose that Miocene progradation of the ancestral Brahmaputra delta reflects increasing rates of erosion and sea level fall during intensification of the South Asian Monsoon after the Miocene Climate Optimum, contemporaneous with a pulse of tectonic uplift of the Himalayan hinterland and Tibet.

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  5. Abstract

    Exhumation and landscape evolution along strike‐slip fault systems reflect tectonic processes that accommodate and partition deformation in orogenic settings. We present 17 new apatite (U‐Th)/He (He), zircon He, apatite fission‐track (FT), and zircon FT dates from the eastern Denali fault zone (EDFZ) that bounds the Kluane Ranges in Yukon, Canada. The dates elucidate patterns of deformation along the EDFZ. Mean apatite He, apatite FT, zircon He, and zircon FT sample dates range within ~26–4, ~110–12, ~94–28, and ~137–83 Ma, respectively. A new zircon U‐Pb date of 113.9 ± 1.7 Ma (2σ) complements existing geochronology and aids in interpretation of low‐temperature thermochronometry data patterns. Samples ≤2 km southwest of the EDFZ trace yield the youngest thermochronometry dates. Multimethod thermochronometry, zircon He date‐effective U patterns, and thermal history modeling reveal rapid cooling ~95–75 Ma, slow cooling ~75–30 Ma, and renewed rapid cooling ~30 Ma to present. The magnitude of net surface uplift constrained by published paleobotanical data, exhumation, and total surface uplift from ~30 Ma to present are ~1, ~2–6, and ~1–7 km, respectively. Exhumation is highest closest to the EDFZ trace but substantially lower than reported for the central Denali fault zone. We infer exhumation and elevation changes associated with ~95–75 Ma terrane accretion and EDFZ activity, relief degradation from ~75–30 Ma, and ~30 Ma to present exhumation and surface uplift as a response to flat‐slab subduction and transpressional deformation. Integrated results reveal new constraints on landscape evolution within the Kluane Ranges directly tied to the EDFZ during the last ~100 Myr.

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