Understanding Himalayan erosion and the significance of the Nicobar Fan

Lisa C. McNeill, Brandon Dugan, Jan Backman, Kevin T. Pickering, Hugo F.A. Pouderoux, Timothy J. Henstock, Katerina E. Petronotis, Andrew Carter, Farid Chemale, Kitty L. Milliken, Steffen Kutterolf, Hideki Mukoyoshi, Wenhuang Chen, Sarah Kachovich, Freya L. Mitchison, Sylvain Bourlange, Tobias A. Colson, Marina C.G. Frederik, Gilles Guèrin, Mari HamahashiBrian M. House, Andre Hüpers, Tamara N. Jeppson, Abby R. Kenigsberg, Mebae Kuranaga, Nisha Nair, Satoko Owari, Yehua Shan, Insun Song, Marta E. Torres, Paola Vannucchi, Peter J. Vrolijk, Tao Yang, Xixi Zhao, Ellen Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


A holistic view of the Bengal–Nicobar Fan system requires sampling the full sedimentary section of the Nicobar Fan, which was achieved for the first time by International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Expedition 362 west of North Sumatra. We identified a distinct rise in sediment accumulation rate (SAR) beginning ∼9.5 Ma and reaching 250–350 m/Myr in the 9.5–2 Ma interval, which equal or far exceed rates on the Bengal Fan at similar latitudes. This marked rise in SAR and a constant Himalayan-derived provenance necessitates a major restructuring of sediment routing in the Bengal–Nicobar submarine fan. This coincides with the inversion of the Eastern Himalayan Shillong Plateau and encroachment of the west-propagating Indo–Burmese wedge, which reduced continental accommodation space and increased sediment supply directly to the fan. Our results challenge a commonly held view that changes in sediment flux seen in the Bengal–Nicobar submarine fan were caused by discrete tectonic or climatic events acting on the Himalayan–Tibetan Plateau. Instead, an interplay of tectonic and climatic processes caused the fan system to develop by punctuated changes rather than gradual progradation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-142
Number of pages9
JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


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