First 40Ar/39Ar dating of intense Late Palaeogene lateritic weathering in Peninsular India

Abstract : Lateritic surface processes have shaped large platform and cratons of the tropical belt. Constraining the timing of such processes is crucial to decipher their role in cratonic morphogenesis and their response to long-term climatic change and lithospheric deformation. Weathering histories have been documented for South America, Africa and Australia, but precise time constraints of the lateritic weathering processes in South India are still lacking. We present 40Ar/39Ar ages of supergene cryptomelane (K-Mn oxide) formed in the Sandur Mn ore deposits exposed on the highest lateritic paleolandsurface that once covered the Mysore plateau and the adjacent Deccan Traps. Significant 40Ar/39Ar ages are estimated between ~ 36 and ~ 26 Ma from well-defined plateaus in step heating 39Ar release spectra and from best-fitted inverse isochrones. These ages constitute firm time constraints that document intense late Eocene-Oligocene lateritic weathering over Peninsular India under the influence of warm and wet climate comparable to that prevailing in tropical humid forests. These results imply that Southern India was weathered between ~ 36 and 26 Ma and may have been dissected mostly in the Neogene.
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Nicolas J. Bonnet, Anicet Beauvais, Nicolas Arnaud, Dominique Chardon, Mudlappa Jayananda. First 40Ar/39Ar dating of intense Late Palaeogene lateritic weathering in Peninsular India. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Elsevier, 2014, 386, pp.126-137. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2013.11.002⟩. ⟨hal-01097320⟩

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