In a significant breakthrough, we report the first discovery of twenty-six genera and thirty-five
species of Early Permian (Asselian–Sakmarian and Artinskian; 299 Ma to 276 Ma) Gondwanic
palynomorphs from a tectonically emplaced metasedimentary sliver of Shyok Ophiolitic Mélange of
the India-Asia Collision zone of Northern Ladakh, India. These palynofloral assemblages are of
peri-Gondwanian (Cimmerian) origin and have a strong affinity with the Gondwana assemblage of
peninsular India. Similar palynofloral assemblages are also known from Extra-Peninsular India,
Salt Range, Karakoram, Antarctica, Australia, South Africa, and South America. The occurrence of
Gondwanic sliver within the Shyok Suture is interpreted as a thin flake of active continental
margin of peri-Gondwanic microcontinent/Kshiroda plate, which was sliced off during the
subduction/collision process, between Ladakh block and Karakoram–Qiangtang-Lhasa terrane and
amalgamated with obducted remnants of the accretionary prism of the nascent Shyok Suture. The
Shyok Suture closed during the mid- to Late Cretaceous period. Subsequent syn- and
post-collision synkinematic episodes tectonically juxtaposed the peri-Gondwanic sliver in the
tectonized zone of Shyok Ophiolitic Mélange. The India-Asia collision, which took place ca.
60–50 Ma with the demise of Neo-Tethys Ocean, along the Indus Tsangpo Suture Zone, modified the
geometry of accreted ophiolitic stack of the Shyok Suture.
Manuscript received 16 Aug. 2020. Revised manuscript received 23 Sept. 2021.
Manuscript accepted 27 Oct. 2021. Posted 19 Nov. 2021.
© The Geological Society of America, 2021. CC-BY-NC.