The Pangong injection complex, Indian Karakoram: a case of pervasive granite flow through hot viscous crust

R. F. Weinberg, M. P. Searle

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In the Karakoram Ridge of NW India, the Tangtse gorge cuts across deep crustal rocks exhumed by transpression along two strands of the dextral Karakoram fault. Crustal leucogranitic magmas prevasively intruded amphibolites and migmatites in the form of sheets that locally coalesced and expanded to form kilometre-scale plutons. Sheets resulted from slop seeping of granite into folidation planes (magmas wedging) rather than from dyking, driven by magmas buoyancy and possible syn-intrusive tectonic deformation. High temperature of the country rocks at the time of intrusion is inferred from similar crystallization ages of the intrusive leucogranite and in situ partial melt in the migmatites, and reflected in the ductile structures developed. Whereas low country rock viscosity inhibited dyking, high temperature freed the magmas from the constraints of freezing and permitted pervasive intrusion. The injection complex exposed along the Tangtse gorge, rather than representing the final emplacement structures, represent transient structures of the granite pathways on their upward journey tobuild the Karakoram batholith, which crops out a few kilometres north, at structurally shallower levels. We suggest that pervasive magmas flow is a transitional step between magma segregation at the source and later rise through cold crust and it may be one of several factors controlling whether dyking or diapirism becomes dominant during late ascent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-891
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Geological Society
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 1998
Externally publishedYes

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