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Titanite petrochronology of the Pamir gneiss domes: Implications for middle to deep crust exhumation and titanite closure to Pb and Zr diffusion

  • Author(s): Stearns, MA
  • Hacker, BR
  • Ratschbacher, L
  • Rutte, D
  • Kylander-Clark, ARC
  • et al.

©2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. The Pamir Plateau, a result of the India-Asia collision, contains extensive exposures of Cenozoic middle to lower crust in domes exhumed by north-south crustal extension. Titanite grains from 60 igneous and metamorphic rocks were investigated with U-Pb + trace element petrochronology (including Zr thermometry) to constrain the timing and temperatures of crustal thickening and exhumation. Titanite from the Pamir domes records thickening from ∼44 to 25 Ma. Retrograde titanite from the Yazgulem, Sarez, and Muskol-Shatput domes records a transition from thickening to exhumation at ∼20-16 Ma, whereas titanite from the Shakhadara dome records prolonged exhumation from ∼20 to 8 Ma. The synchronous onset of exhumation may have been initiated by breakoff of the Indian slab and possible convective removal of the Asian lower crust and/or mantle lithosphere. The prolonged exhumation of the Shakhdara and Muztaghata-Kongur Shan domes may have been driven by continued rollback of the Asian lithosphere concurrent with shortening and northwestward translation of the Pamir Plateau.

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