Leucogranite intruding the South Tibetan Detachment in western Nepal: implications for exhumation models in the Himalayas



The most popular models regarding the exhumation of the Greater Himalayan Sequence (GHS), such as extrusion, channel flow, critical taper and wedge extrusion, require prolonged activity of the two bounding shear zones and faults, the Main Central Thrust (MCT) and the South Tibetan Detachment (STD). We present the crystallization age of an undeformed leucogranite that intrudes both the GHS and the Tethyan Himalaya Sequence (THS). Zircon and monazite U-Pb ages in the leucogranite give ages between 23 and 25 Ma constraining, at that time, the end of shearing along the STD. Our results limit the contemporaneous activity of the MCT and STD to a short period of time (~1–2 Ma) and thus argue against exhumation models requiring prolonged contemporaneous activity of the MCT and STD.