Growth, Uplift and Truncation of Indo-Burman Anticlines Paced By Glacial-Interglacial Sea Level Change

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Jonathan Gale1, Michael S Steckler1, Daniel Sousa1, Leonardo Seeber1, Steven Lee Goodbred Jr2 and Eleanor K Ferguson1, (1)Lamont-Doherty Earth Obs, Palisades, NY, United States, (2)Vanderbilt-Earth & Envir Scies, Nashville, TN, United States
The Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta abuts the Indo-Burman Arc on the east. Subduction of the thick delta strata has generated a large subaerial accretionary prism, up to 250 km wide, with multiple ranges of anticlines composed of the folded and faulted delta sediments. As the wedge has grown, the exposed anticlines have become subject to erosion by the rivers draining the Himalaya, a local Indo-Burman drainage network, and coastal processes. Multiple lines of geophysical, geologic, and geomorphologic evidence indicate anticline truncation as a result of interaction with the rivers of the delta and sea level. Seismic lines, geologic mapping, and geomorphology reveal truncated anticlines with angular unconformities that have been arched due to continued growth of the anticline. Buried, truncated anticlines have been identified by seismic lines, tube well logs, and resistivity measurements. The truncation of these anticlines also appears to provide a pathway for high-As Holocene groundwater into the generally low-As Pleistocene groundwater. Overall, the distribution of anticline erosion and elevation in the fold belt appears to be consistent with glacial-interglacial changes in river behavior in the delta. The anticline crests are eroded during sea level highstands as rivers and the coastline sweep across the region, and excavated by local drainage during lowstands. With continued growth, the anticlines are uplifted above the delta and “survive” as topographic features. As a result, the maximum elevations of the anticlines are clustered in a pattern suggesting continued growth since their last glacial highstand truncation. An uplift rate is calculated from this paced truncation and growth that is consistent with other measurements of Indo-Burman wedge advance. This rate, combined with the proposed method of truncation, give further evidence of dynamic fluvial changes in the delta between glacial and interglacial times.