Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-7j4dq Total loading time: 0.356 Render date: 2022-10-06T00:42:08.671Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": true, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

A late Pleistocene sedimentation in the Indus Fan, Arabian Sea, IODP Site U1457

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 May 2019

Anil Kumar*
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, 33 GMS Road, Dehradun, India
Som Dutt
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, 33 GMS Road, Dehradun, India
Rajeev Saraswat
Geological Oceanography Division, National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India
Anil Kumar Gupta
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, Kharagpur, W.B. 721302, India
Peter D Clift
Department of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
Dhananjai Kumar Pandey
ESSO – National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa, India
Zhaojie Yu
Université de Paris-Sud, Orsay, France
Denise K Kulhanek
Texas A&M University, 1000 Discovery Drive, College Station, TX 77845, USA
Author for correspondence: Anil Kumar, Email:


The intensity of turbidite sedimentation over long timescales is driven by sea-level change, tectonically driven rock uplift and climatically modulated sediment delivery rates. This study focuses on understanding the effect of sea-level fluctuations and climatic variability on grain-size variations. The grain size and environmental magnetic parameters of Arabian Sea sediments have been documented using 203 samples, spanning the last 200 ka, obtained from International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) Site U1457. Grain-size end-member modelling suggests that between ~200 and 130 ka there was an increase in the coarse silt fraction caused by sediment transport following reworking of the Indus Fan and development of deep-sea canyons. The sediment size and enhanced magnetic susceptibility indicate a dominant flux of terrestrial sediments. Sedimentation in the distal Indus Fan at c. 200–130 ka was driven by a drop in sea level that lowered the base level in the Indus and Narmada river systems. The low sea-stand caused incision in the Indus delta, canyons and fan area, which resulted in the transportation of coarser sediment at the drilling site. Magnetic susceptibility and other associated magnetic parameters suggest a large fraction of the sediment was supplied by the Narmada River during ~200–130 ka. Since ~130 ka, clay-dominated sedimentation is attributed to the rise in sea level due to warm and wet climate.

Discussion - Reply
© Cambridge University Press 2019

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Basavaiah, N and Khadkikar, AS (2004) Environmental magnetism and its application towards palaeomonsoon reconstruction. Journal of the Indian Geophysical Union 8, 114.Google Scholar
Bloemendal, J, King, JW, Hunt, A, Demenocal, PB and Hayashida, A (1993) Origin of the sedimentary magnetic record at Ocean Drilling Program sites on the Owen Ridge, western Arabian Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 98, 41995019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blum, MD, Tomkin, JH, Purcell, A and Lancaster, RR (2008) Ups and downs of the Mississippi Delta. Geology 36, 675–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Burbank, DW, Leland, J, Fielding, E, Anderson, R, Brozovic, N, Reid, M and Duncan, C (1996) Bedrock incision, rock uplift and threshold hillslopes in the northwestern Himalayas. Nature 379, 505–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cazenave, A and Llovel, W (2010) Contemporary sea level rise. Annual Review of Marine Science 2, 145–73.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Chamyal, LS, Maurya, DM, Bhandari, S and Raj, R (2002) Late Quaternary geomorphic evolution of the lower Narmada valley, Western India: implications for neotectonic activity along the Narmada–Son Fault. Geomorphology 46, 177202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clemens, SC, Murray, DW and Prell, WL (1996) Nonstationary phase of the Plio-Pleistocene Asian monsoon. Science 274, 943–48CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Clemens, SC and Prell, WL (1990) Late Pleistocene variability of Arabian Sea summer monsoon winds and continental aridity: Eolian records from the lithogenic component of deep-sea sediments. Paleoceanography 5, 109–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clemens, S, Prell, W, Murray, D, Shimmield, G and Weedon, G (1991) Forcing mechanisms of the Indian Ocean monsoon. Nature 353, 720.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clift, PD and Giosan, L (2014) Sediment fluxes and buffering in the post-glacial Indus Basin. Basin Research 26, 369–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clift, PD, Hodges, KV, Heslop, D, Hannigan, R, Van Long, H and Calves, G (2008) Correlation of Himalayan exhumation rates and Asian monsoon intensity. Nature Geoscience 1, 875–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dietze, E, Maussion, F, Ahlborn, M, Diekmann, B, Hartmann, K, Henkel, K, Kasper, T, Lockot, G and Opitz, S (2014) Sediment transport processes across the Tibetan Plateau inferred from robust grain size end-members in lake sediments. Climate of the Past 10, 91106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dutt, S, Gupta, AK, Wünnemann, B and Yan, D (2018) A long arid interlude in the Indian summer monsoon during ∼4,350 to 3,450 cal. Yr BP contemporaneous to displacement of the Indus valley civilization. Quaternary International 482, 8392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Evans, ME and Heller, F (2003) Environmental Magnetism: Principles and Applications of Environmental Magnetism. Oxford: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Ferrier, KL, Mitrovica, JX, Giosan, L and Clift, PD (2015) Sea-level responses to erosion and deposition of sediment in the Indus River basin and the Arabian Sea. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 416, 1220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fildani, A, McKay, MP, Stockli, D, Clark, J, Dykstra, ML, Stockli, L and Hessler, AM (2016) The ancestral Mississippi drainage archived in the late Wisconsin Mississippi deep-sea fan. Geology 44, 479–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fildani, A, Hessler, AM, Mason, CC, McKay, MP and Stockli, DF (2018) Late Pleistocene glacial transitions in North America altered major river drainages, as revealed by deep-sea sediment. Scientific reports 8, 13839.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Flood, RD, Manley, PL, Kowsmann, RO, Appi, CJ and Pirmez, C (1991) Seismic facies and late Quaternary growth of Amazon submarine fan. In Seismic Facies and Sedimentary Processes of Submarine Fans and Turbidite Systems (eds P Weimer and MH Link), pp. 415–33. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
GoodbredSL, Jr SL, Jr (2003) Response of the Ganges dispersal system to climate change: a source-to-sink view since the last interstade. Sedimentary Geology 162, 83104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goswami, V, Singh, SK, Bhushan, R and Rai, VK (2012) Temporal variations in 87Sr/86Sr and εNd in sediments of the southeastern Arabian Sea: impact of monsoon and surface water circulation. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 13, Q01001, doi: 10.1029/2011GC003802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gupta, AK, Anderson, DM and Overpeck, JT (2003) Abrupt changes in the Asian southwest monsoon during the Holocene and their links to the North Atlantic Ocean. Nature 421, 354–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gupta, AK, Yuvaraja, A, Prakasam, M, Clemens, SC and Velu, A (2015) Evolution of the South Asian monsoon wind system since the late Middle Miocene. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 438, 160–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gupta, H and Chakrapani, GJ (2005) Temporal and spatial variations in water flow and sediment load in Narmada River Basin, India: natural and man-made factors. Environmental Geology 48, 579–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ivins, ER, Dokka, RK and Blom, RG (2007) Post-glacial sediment load and subsidence in coastal Louisiana. Geophysical Research Letters 34, L16303. doi: 10.1029/2007GL030003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jonell, TN, Carter, A, Böning, P, Pahnke, K and Clift, PD (2017) Climatic and glacial impact on erosion patterns and sediment provenance in the Himalayan rain shadow, Zanskar River, NW India. Geological Society of America Bulletin 129, 820–36, doi: 10.1130/B31573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jonell, TN, Li, Y, Blusztajn, J, Giosan, L and Clift, PD (2018) Signal or noise? Isolating grain size effects on Nd and Sr isotope variability in Indus delta sediment provenance. Chemical Geology 485, 5673. doi: 10.1016/j.chemgeo.2018.03.036.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Joshi, PN, Maurya, DM and Chamyal, LS (2013) Morphotectonic segmentation and spatial variability of neotectonic activity along the Narmada–Son Fault, Western India: remote sensing and GIS analysis. Geomorphology 180, 292306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kathayat, G, Cheng, H, Sinha, A, Spötl, C, Edwards, RL, Zhang, H, Li, X, Yi, L, Ning, Y, Cai, Y and Lui, WL (2016) Indian monsoon variability on millennial-orbital timescales. Scientific Reports 6, 24374. doi: 10.1038/srep24374.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Khim, BK, Horikawa, K, Asahara, Y, Kim, JE and Ikehara, M (2018) Detrital Sr–Nd isotopes and sediment provenance in the Laxmi Basin of the Arabian Sea during the last 800 kyrs. Geological Magazine, 113. doi: 10.1017/S0016756818000596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
King, J, Banerjee, SK, Marvin, J and Özdemir, Ö (1982) A comparison of different magnetic methods for determining the relative grain size of magnetite in natural materials: some results from lake sediments. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 59, 404–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kolla, V (2007) A review of sinuous channel avulsion patterns in some major deep-sea fans and factors controlling them. Marine and Petroleum Geology 24, 450–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kolla, V and Coumes, F (1987) Morphology, internal structure, seismic stratigraphy and sedimentation of the Indus Fan. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin 71, 650–77.Google Scholar
Kolla, V and Perlmutter, MA (1993) Timing of turbidite sedimentation on the Mississippi Fan. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin 77, 1129–41.Google Scholar
Kumar, A and Srivastava, P (2017) The role of climate and tectonics in aggradation and incision of the Indus River in the Ladakh Himalaya during the late Quaternary. Quaternary Research 87, 363–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kumar, A, Srivastava, P and Meena, NK (2017) Late Pleistocene aeolian activity in the cold desert of Ladakh: a record from sand ramps. Quaternary International 443, 1328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lambeck, K, and Chappell, J (2001) Sea level change through the last glacial cycle. Science 292, 679–86.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Li, Y, Clift, PD, Böning, P, Blusztajn, J, Murray, RW, Ireland, T, Pahnke, K and Giosan, L (2018) Continuous signal propagation in the Indus submarine canyon since the last deglacial. Marine Geology, 406, 159–76. doi: 10.1016/j.margeo.2018.09.011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lisiecki, LE and Raymo, ME (2005) A Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed benthic δ18O records. Paleoceanography 20, PA1003. doi: 10.1029/2004PA001071.Google Scholar
Liu, Q, Roberts, AP, Larrasoana, JC, Banerjee, SK, Guyodo, Y, Tauxe, L and Oldfield, F (2012) Environmental magnetism: principles and applications. Reviews of Geophysics 50, RG4002. doi: 10.1024/2012RG000393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Maher, BA (2011) The magnetic properties of Quaternary aeolian dusts and sediments, and their palaeoclimatic significance. Aeolian Research 3, 87144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Milliman, JD and Syvitski, JPM (1992) Geomorphic/tectonic control of sediment discharge to the ocean: the importance of small mountainous rivers. The Journal of Geology 100, 525–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mishra, R, Pandey, DK, Ramesh, P and Clift, PD (2016) Identification of new deep sea sinuous channels in the eastern Arabian Sea. SpringerPlus 5, 844. doi: 10.1186/s40064-016-2497-6CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Mitrovica, JX and Milne, GA (2002) On the origin of late Holocene sea-level highstands within equatorial ocean basins. Quaternary Science Reviews 21, 2179–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mitrovica, JX, Tamisiea, ME, Davis, JL and Milne, GA (2001) Recent mass balance of polar ice sheets inferred from patterns of global sea-level change. Nature 409, 1026–9.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Munack, H, Korup, O, Resentini, A, Limonta, M, Garzanti, E, Blöthe, JH, Scherler, D, Wittmann, H and Kubik, PW (2014) Postglacial denudation of western Tibetan Plateau margin outpaced by long-term exhumation. Geological Society of America Bulletin 126, 1580–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Najman, Y (2006) The detrital record of orogenesis: a review of approaches and techniques used in the Himalayan sedimentary basins. Earth-Science Reviews 74, 172.Google Scholar
Oldfield, F (1991) Environmental magnetism – a personal perspective. Quaternary Science Reviews 10, 7385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pandey, DK, Clift, PD, Kulhanek, DK, Andò, S, Bendle, JAP, Bratenkov, S, Griffith, EM, Gurumurthy, GP, Hahn, A, Iwai, M, Khim, B-K, Kumar, A, Kumar, AG, Liddy, HM, Lu, H, Lyle, MW, Mishra, R, Radhakrishna, T, Routledge, CM, Saraswat, R, Saxena, R, Scardia, G, Sharma, GK, Singh, AD, Steinke, S, Suzuki, K, Tauxe, L, Tiwari, M, Xu, Z and Yu, Z (2015) Expedition 355 Preliminary Report: Arabian Sea Monsoon. International Ocean Discovery Program. doi:10.14379/ Scholar
Pandey, DK, Clift, PD, Kulhanek, DK, Andò, S, Bendle, JAP, Bratenkov, S, Griffith, EM, Gurumurthy, GP, Hahn, A, Iwai, M, Khim, B-K, Kumar, A, Kumar, AG, Liddy, HM, Lu, H, Lyle, MW, Mishra, R, Radhakrishna, T, Routledge, CM, Saraswat, R, Saxena, R, Scardia, G, Sharma, GK, Singh, AD, Steinke, S, Suzuki, K, Tauxe, L, Tiwari, M, Xu, Z and Yu, Z (2016) Expedition 355 summary. In Proceedings of the International Ocean Discovery Program, 355 (eds Pandey, DK, Clift, PD, Kulhanek, DK and the Expedition 355 Scientists, Arabian Sea Monsoon). College Station, Texas: International Ocean Discovery Program.Google Scholar
Pandey, A and Pandey, DK (2015) Mechanism of crustal extension in the Laxmi Basin, Arabian Sea. Geodesy and Geodynamics 6, 409–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Petit, JR, Jouzel, J, Raynaud, D, Barkov, NI, Barnola, JM, Basile, I, Bender, M, Chappellaz, J, Davis, M, Delaygue, G and Delmotte, M (1999) Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica. Nature 399, 429–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Prerna, R, Pandey, D and Mishra, R (2015) Approximation of flow patterns for submarine channel systems in the Arabian Sea using a GIS approach. International Journal of Advanced Remote Sensing and GIS 4 ,1142–60.Google Scholar
Prins, MA and Postma, G (2000) Effects of climate, sea level, and tectonics unraveled for last deglaciation turbidite records of the Arabian Sea. Geology 28, 375–8.2.0.CO;2>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Prizomwala, SP, Bhatt, N and Basavaiah, N (2014) Provenance discrimination and source-to-sink studies from a dryland fluvial regime: an example from Kachchh, western India. International Journal of Sediment Research 29, 99109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Romans, BW, Castelltort, S, Covault, JA, Fildani, A and Walsh, JP (2016) Environmental signal propagation in sedimentary systems across timescales. Earth-Science Reviews 153, 729.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Royer, J-Y, Chaubey, AK, Dyment, J, Bhattacharya, GC, Srinivas, K, Yatheesh, V and Ramprasad, T (2002) Paleogene plate tectonic evolution of the Arabian and eastern Somali basins. In The Tectonic and Climatic Evolution of the Arabian Sea Region (eds Clift, PD, Kroon, D, Gaedicke, C and Craig, J), pp. 723. Geological Society of London, Special Publication no. 195(1).Google Scholar
Saraswat, R, Nigam, R, Weldeab, S, Mackensen, A and Naidu, PD (2005). A first look at past sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Indian Ocean from Mg/Ca in foraminifera. Geophysical Research Letters 32, L24605. doi: 10.1029/2005GL024093.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simms, AR, Anderson, JB, Dewitt, R, Lambeck, K and Purcell, A (2013) Quantifying rates of coastal subsidence since the last interglacial and the role of sediment loading. Global and Planetary Change 111, 296308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Simms, AR, Lambeck, K, Purcell, A, Anderson, JB and Rodriguez, AB (2007) Sea-level history of the Gulf of Mexico since the Last Glacial Maximum with implications for the melting history of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Quaternary Science Reviews 26, 920–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spratt, RM and Lisiecki, LE (2016) A Late Pleistocene sea level stack. Climate of the Past 12, 1079–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thompson, LG, Yao, T, Davis, ME, Henderson, KA, Mosley-Thompson, E, Lin, PN, Beer, J, Synal, HA, Cole-Dai, J and Bolzan, JF (1997) Tropical climate instability: the Last Glacial Cycle from a Qinghai-Tibetan ice core. Science 276, 1821–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tripathi, S, Tiwari, M, Lee, J, Khim, BK, IODP Expedition 355 Scientists, Pandey, DK, Clift, PD, Kulhanek, DK, Andò, S, Bendle, JA and Aharonovich, S (2017) First evidence of denitrification vis-à-vis monsoon in the Arabian Sea since Late Miocene. Scientific Reports 7, 43056.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Udden, JA (1914) Mechanical composition of clastic sediments. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America 25, 655744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weber, ME, Wiedicke, MH, Kudrass, HR, Hübscher, C and Erlenkeuser, H (1997) Active growth of the Bengal Fan during sea-level rise and highstand. Geology 25, 315–18.2.3.CO;2>CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weltje, GJ and Prins, MA (2003) Muddled or mixed? Inferring palaeoclimate from size distributions of deep-sea clastics. Sedimentary Geology 162, 3962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weltje, GJ and Prins, MA (2007) Genetically meaningful decomposition of grain-size distributions. Sedimentary Geology 202, 409–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wentworth, CK (1922) A scale of grade and class terms for clastic sediments. The Journal of Geology 30, 377–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wolstencroft, M, Shen, Z, Törnqvist, TE, Milne, GA and Kulp, M (2014) Understanding subsidence in the Mississippi Delta region due to sediment, ice, and ocean loading: insights from geophysical modeling. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 119, 3838–56.Google Scholar
Yu, Z, Colin, C, Wan, S, Saraswat, R, Song, L, Xu, Z, Clift, P, Lu, H, Lyle, M, Kulhanek, D, Hahn, A, Tiwari, M, Mishra, R, Miska, S and Kumar, A (2019) Sea level-controlled sediment transport to the eastern Arabian Sea over the past 600 kyr: clay minerals and Sr-Nd isotopic evidence from IODP site U1457. Quaternary Science Reviews 205, 2234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ziegler, M, Lourens, LJ, Tuenter, E and Reichart, GJ (2010) High Arabian Sea productivity conditions during MIS 13 – odd monsoon event or intensified overturning circulation at the end of the Mid-Pleistocene transition? Climate of the Past 6, 6376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Supplementary material: File

Kumar et al. supplementary material

Kumar et al. supplementary material 1

Download Kumar et al. supplementary material(File)
File 2 MB
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

A late Pleistocene sedimentation in the Indus Fan, Arabian Sea, IODP Site U1457
Available formats

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

A late Pleistocene sedimentation in the Indus Fan, Arabian Sea, IODP Site U1457
Available formats

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

A late Pleistocene sedimentation in the Indus Fan, Arabian Sea, IODP Site U1457
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *