The Karakoram fault zone is a prominent right lateral fault that connects the frontal thrust of the North Pamir with the Indus suture zone near Mount Kailas. Its nature and age of initiation is controversial. In the Nubra valley, Ladakh, India, a Karakoram range granite is thrust over Cretaceous magmatic arc rocks and this thrust is cut by a western strand of the Karakoram fault zone. Three different lithologies from this granite gave weighted mean zircon U/Pb ages of 12.92±0.77 Ma, 12.41±0.43 Ma, and 11.72±0.31 Ma. The ages indicate a relatively short intrusive history of about 1 Ma for the phases: the geochemistry is practically identical to the Pangong leucogranites in the same tectonic block. The Karakoram fault zone in this area is thus less than ~12 Ma old which supports a post middle Miocene (Serravallian) age of Karakoram fault initiation in this area.
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