EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Expanse of greater india in the cretaceous

Jun Meng1, Stuart Gilder2, Yalin Li1, and Chengshan Wang1
Jun Meng et al.
  • 1School of Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences Beijing, China (
  • 2Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, Germany (

Knowing the original size of Greater India is a fundamental parameter to quantify the amount of continental lithosphere that was subducted to help form the Tibetan Plateau and to constrain the tectonic evolution of the India-Asia collision. Here, we report Early Cretaceous paleomagnetic data from the central and eastern Tethyan Himalaya that yield paleolatitudes consistent with previous Early Cretaceous paleogeographic reconstructions. These data suggest Greater India extended at least 2,675 ± 720 and 1,950 ± 970 km farther north from the present northern margin of India at 83.6°E and 92.4°E, respectively. The paleomagnetic data from Upper Cretaceous rocks of the western Tethyan Himalaya that are consistent with a model that Greater India extended ~2700 km farther north from its present northern margin at the longitude of 79.6°E before collision with Asia. Our result further suggests that the Indian plate, together with Greater India, acted as a single entity since at least the Early Cretaceous. An area of lithosphere ≥4.7 × 106 km2 was consumed through subduction, thereby placing a strict limit on the minimum amount of Indian lithosphere consumed since the breakup of Gondwanaland. The pre-collision geometry of Greater India’s leading margin helped shape the India-Asia plate boundary. The proposed configuration produced right lateral shear east of the indenter, thereby accounting for the clockwise vertical axis block rotations observed there.

How to cite: Meng, J., Gilder, S., Li, Y., and Wang, C.: Expanse of greater india in the cretaceous, EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-636,, 2021.


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