Resolving the Paleogeographic Puzzle of the Lhasa Terrane in Southern Tibet

Qing Wang, Di Cheng Zhu, Peter A. Cawood, Sun Lin Chung, Zhi Dan Zhao

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The widespread Tibetan Permo-Carboniferous glaciogenic diamictites (PCGDs) are conventionally thought to be sourced from Indian Gondwana during glacier transport and deglaciation. However, the Lhasa PCGDs differ in detrital zircon U-Pb age spectra and εHf(t) values from those in Southern Qiangtang and Tethyan Himalaya. The similarities in εHf(t) values for similar-age detrital zircons, the development of glacier transport pathways, and the large volumes of the Tibetan PCGDs indicate an Australian source for the Lhasa PCDGs, and an Indian source for the Southern Qiangtang and Tethyan Himalayan PCDGs. We conclude that the Southern Qiangtang and Tethyan Himalayan are paleographically linked to northern India, whereas Lhasa is positioned adjacent to NW Australia during the Paleozoic. Magmatic and metamorphic records further indicate that eastern Lhasa (E90°–E95°) represents the outboard extension of events recorded in northern Central Australia, whereas western Lhasa (E80°–E90°) was located outboard of the West Australian Craton.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021GL094236
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2021


  • detrital zircon
  • glaciogenic diamictite
  • paleogeographic puzzle
  • Permo-Carboniferous
  • Tibet

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