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Infilling of the Younger Kathmandu-Banepa intermontane lake basin during the late Quaternary (Lesser Himalaya, Nepal); a sedimentological study

Infilling of the Younger Kathmandu-Banepa intermontane lake basin during the late Quaternary (Lesser Himalaya, Nepal); a sedimentological study

JQS Journal of Quaternary Science

The Kathmandu and Banepa basins, central Nepal, are located in a large syncline of the Lesser Himalayas. The Older Kathmandu Lake evolved during the Pliocene and early Pleistocene; the Younger Kathmandu Lake, which is the focus of this study, is infilled with late Quaternary sediments. Three formations, arranged in stratigraphical order, the Kalimati, Gokarna and Thoka formations formed during the infilling stage of this lacustrine basin. Structural and textural sedimentological analyses, a chemical survey across the basin and mineralogical investigations of fine-grained sediments form the basis of this paleogeographical study. The basin under investigation was covered by a perennial freshwater lake before 30,000 yr BP. The lake was infilled with alluvial and fluvial sediments delivered mainly from the mountains north of the basin. A fairly low gradient was favorable for the formation of diatomaceous earths, carbonaceous mudstones and siltstones, which were laid down in the center of the lake and in small ponds. Towards the basin edge, lacustrine sediments gave way to deltaic deposits spread across the delta plain. Crevasse splays and anastomosing rivers mainly delivered suspended load for the widespread siltstones and mudstones. The proximal parts of the alluvial-fluvial sedimentary wedge contain debris flows that interfinger with fine-grained floodplain deposits. Three highstands of the water-level (>30 000 yr BP, 28,000-19,000 yr BP, 11,000-4000 yr BP (?)) have been recognized in the sedimentary record of the younger Kathmandu Lake in the late Quaternary. Second-order water-level fluctuations are assumed to be triggered by local processes (damming by tectonically induced landslides). First-order water-level fluctuations are the result of climatic changes.

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Accession: 019200259

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DOI: 10.1002/jqs.726

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