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Mountain building in the Nepal Himalaya: Thermal and kinematic model

Bollinger, L. and Henry, P. and Avouac, J. P. (2006) Mountain building in the Nepal Himalaya: Thermal and kinematic model. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 244 (1-2). pp. 58-71. ISSN 0012-821X. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2006.01.045.

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We model crustal deformation and the resulting thermal structure across the Nepal Himalaya, assuming that, since 20 Ma, shortening across the range has been primarily taken up by slip along a single thrust fault, the Main Himalayan Thrust (MHT) Fault, and that the growth of the Himalayan wedge has resulted mainly from underplating and to the development of a duplex at midcrustal depth. We show that this process can account for the inverse thermal metamorphic gradient documented throughout the Lesser Himalaya (LH), the discontinuity of peak metamorphic temperatures across the MCT, as well as the distribution of age of exhumation across the range. This study suggests that the metamorphic evolution of the range over about the last 20 million years is compatible with the kinematics of recent crustal deformation deduced from morphotectonic and geodetic studies.

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Avouac, J. P.0000-0002-3060-8442
Additional Information:© 2006 Elsevier B.V. Received 27 June 2005; revised 24 December 2005; accepted 23 January 2006. Editor: V. Courtillot. Available online 10 March 2006. The authors are thankful to Patrick Lefort, Maurice Brunel and Arnaud Pêcher for sharing with them their experience of Himalayan tectonics. This study has also benefited from discussion with Peter Copeland who kindly authorized us to use his collection of Ar/Ar ages. Finite-element computations were done with the FEAP program, developed by R. Taylor at the University of California at Berkeley. We are most grateful to T. Ehlers, P. Tapponnier, K. Whipple and anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions which greatly helped in improving the manuscripts. This is Caltech Tectonics Observatory contribution no 34.
Group:Caltech Tectonics Observatory, Caltech Tectonics Observatory. Indo-Asian Collision Zone, Seismological Laboratory
Subject Keywords:thermal model; temperature-time paths; inverted metamorphism; underplating; Himalayan orogen; Nepal Himalaya; Lesser Himalaya; Main Central Thrust; Main Himalayan Thrust; crustal tectonics
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Caltech Tectonics Observatory34
Issue or Number:1-2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20101117-095022710
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:20849
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:17 Nov 2010 18:20
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 00:03

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