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Abstract

The Main Mantle Thrust (MMT) represents the tectonic boundary between metamorphic shield and platform rock of the Indian plate hinterland, and dominantly mafic and ultramafic rock of the Kohistan-Ladakh arc complex in Pakistan. In some areas, this boundary is a sharp planar fault with development of mylonite; in other areas, it is a brittle-ductile imbricate zone; in still other areas, it contains large, discontinuous, slices of internally sheared and deformed ophiolitic mélange. The character of the MMT along its entire trace is discussed and it is concluded that there is no single continuous fault which marks the contact between the Indian plate and the Kohistan-Ladakh arc. On this basis, we propose a revised definition for the MMT that is consistent with both the original definition and with the usage of the term in literature. We suggest that the MMT fault contact be defined as the series of faults, of different age and tectonic history, that collectively define the northern margin of the Indian plate in Pakistan. On this basis, faults that define the MMT vary in age from Quaternary to possibly as old as Late Cretaceous. Discontinuous lenses of ophiolitic mélange that overlie the MMT fault contact, and which intervene between the Indian plate and the Kohistan-Ladakh arc, are considered to be part of an MMT zone that is equivalent with the Indus Suture Zone.

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