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Often described as a natural laboratory, the Himalaya are probably the ideal place in which to study ongoing continent-continent collision. This volume focuses on the geology of the northwestern part of the Himalaya which provides the most complete and best-exposed transect across the range. Here, in northern Pakistan and in Ladakh in northwest India, the full profile across the south Asian continental margin, and the north Indian margin is superbly exposed in mountains reaching as high as K2 (8611 m) and Nanga Parbat (8125 m). The south Asian geology is exemplified in the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges along the north and northwestern frontiers of Pakistan. The unique Kohistan-Dras island-arc terrane is sandwiched within the Tethyan suture zone between India and Asia. Rocks of the northern margin of the Indian Plate are exposed in both the Zanskar and the Pakistan Himalaya. The northern sedimentary carbonate platform of the Indian Plate, magnificently exposed in the mountains of Zanskar and Ladakh, is largely missing in Pakistan where the Kohistan arc has been obducted southward onto the metamorphosed rocks of the internal crystalline zones of the Indian Plate. The Nanga Parbat syntaxis represents an orogenic bend developed within a convergent zone in the thrust belt where the south-vergent thrusts of the central and eastern Himalaya swing around through 300 degrees.

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