From buckling to asymmetric folding of the continental lithosphere: numerical modelling and application to the Himalayan syntaxes
Published:January 01, 2000
J.-P. Burg, Y. Podladchikov, 2000. "From buckling to asymmetric folding of the continental lithosphere: numerical modelling and application to the Himalayan syntaxes", Tectonics of the Nanga Parbat Syntaxis and the Western Himalaya, M. Asif Khan, Peter J. Treloar, Michael P. Searle, M. Qasim Jan
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The eastern and western Himalayan syntaxes are large-scale, coeval antiforms developed late in the history of India-Asia collision. We use two-dimensional finite element models of lithospheric folding to develop a mechanically plausible structural interpretation. The models mimic the coeval development of adjacent synformal basins, analogous to the Peshawar and Kashmir basins on either side of and adjacent to the western syntaxis. Pure-shear thickening and symmetric buckling accommodate shortening until, at a certain strain, an asymmetric thrust-like flow pattern occurs on a crustal to lithospheric scale. Similarities between geological data and calculated models suggest that lithospheric buckling is a basic response to large-scale continental shortening. To generalize these results, we suggest that a typical shortening history would include: (1) locking of an early thrust system in hinterland regions, followed by (2) pure shear shortening and symmetric buckling of the shortened lithosphere, and (3) loss of symmetry leading to the formation of an asymmetric fold in which a new thrust system will nucleate.
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Tectonics of the Nanga Parbat Syntaxis and the Western Himalaya
The western syntaxis of the Himalaya is one of the most exciting frontiers of continental tectonis studies. The region around the mountain of Nanga Parbat has some of the highest peaks, deepest valleys and highest uplift, exhumation and erosion rates known on earth. Surrounding regions include the Hindu Kush and Karakoram mountains (Asian plate), the Kohistan island arc and the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges of the western Himalaya (Indian plate). This volume includes 24 papers on all these regions as well as five new fold-out maps of the eastern Hindu Kush, the Spontang Ophiolite region of Ladakh, part of the west margin of the Indian plate, the Indus syntaxis in Pakistan and the Bouguer gravity anomalies in Pakistan.