Palaeomagnetic dating of the earliest continental Himalayan foredeep sediments: Implications for Himalayan evolution
Between the time of the India-Eurasia collision (50-45 Ma)  and the climax of crustal shortening and thrust stacking in the Himalaya when the Main Central Thrust (MCT) was active (21 Ma) [1,2] there is a ca. 30 My gap about which little is known. This paper aims to shed light on this period by dating the initiation of major erosion from the rising Himalaya and the probable start of uplift, a significant event in the orogen's history. This was achieved by accurately dating, for the first time, the Dagshai Formation sediments of northern India, which are interpreted as early Himalayan foreland basin deposits that record initial large-scale erosion of the orogen . Oriented hand samples were collected from six sites and analysed, using palaeomagnetic techniques. Both polarities are represented and the remanence passes a fold test. Fitting the measured palaeolatitude to that expected for the Indian plate dates the Dagshai Formation at 35.5 Ma ± 6.7 Ma, and this is taken as the time when the embryonic Himalaya began to be strongly eroded and regionally uplifted.