Master of Science (MS)


Geology and Geophysics

Document Type



The Indus Fan with a volume of 4.5 million km³ is the second largest submarine fan on Earth, only behind its neighbor to the east The Bengal Fan. It formed off the passive margin of Pakistan-India in the northern Arabian Sea. One of the more important aspects of the Indus Fan is its mostly complete sediment record of what has been eroded from the western Himalayan and Karakoram Mountains which act as the main source for the Indus River system. Since the initiation of the Himalaya about 50 Ma, sedimentation rates have fluctuated. This study attempts to calculate a new sediment budget for the Indus Fan and compare channel-levee complex architecture to periods of high and low sediment fluxes. Due to the quality of the 2D seismic available, multiple components of the channel-levee architecture were able to be interpreted which allowed for the reconstruction of how each complex built over time. The results of this study suggest peak sedimentation occurred during the late Miocene to early Pliocene. Multiple data sources support this period of peak sedimentation was caused by the onset of global cooling that began around 3 Ma. The climate change did not allow for fluvial and glacial systems to reach equilibrium. These results differ with previous work in that a steady increase in sedimentation rates were calculated to occur up until the late Miocene. In the early Pliocene, sedimentation rates started to decrease again till recent time.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Clift, Peter