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      Tectonic control of Yarlung Tsangpo Gorge revealed by a buried canyon in Southern Tibet.

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          Abstract

          The Himalayan mountains are dissected by some of the deepest and most impressive gorges on Earth. Constraining the interplay between river incision and rock uplift is important for understanding tectonic deformation in this region. We report here the discovery of a deeply incised canyon of the Yarlung Tsangpo River, at the eastern end of the Himalaya, which is now buried under more than 500 meters of sediments. By reconstructing the former valley bottom and dating sediments at the base of the valley fill, we show that steepening of the Tsangpo Gorge started at about 2 million to 2.5 million years ago as a consequence of an increase in rock uplift rates. The high erosion rates within the gorge are therefore a direct consequence of rapid rock uplift.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Science
          Science (New York, N.Y.)
          American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
          1095-9203
          0036-8075
          Nov 21 2014
          : 346
          : 6212
          Affiliations
          [1 ] State Key Laboratory of Earthquake Dynamics, Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration, Beijing 100029, P. R. China.
          [2 ] Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA. scherler@caltech.edu.
          [3 ] Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University Potsdam, 14476 Potsdam, Germany.
          [4 ] Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.
          [5 ] Chengdu Engineering Corporation, Chengdu 610072, P. R. China.
          Article
          346/6212/978
          10.1126/science.1259041
          25414309

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