Evidence for steady fault-accommodated strain in the High Himalaya: Progressive fault rotation of the southern Tibet detachment system in NW Bhutan
G. Wiesmayr, M. A. Edwards, M. Meyer, W. S. F. Kidd, D. Leber, H. Häusler, D. Wangda, 2002. "Evidence for steady fault-accommodated strain in the High Himalaya: Progressive fault rotation of the southern Tibet detachment system in NW Bhutan", Deformation Mechanisms, Rheology and Tectonics: Current Status and Future Perspectives, S. de Meer, M. R. Drury, J. H. P. de Bresser, G. M. Pennock
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We present fault analyses from the exhumed middle crustal slab of the High Himalaya in eastern Lunana in NW Bhutan. Fault planes from within two-mica, tourma-line-bearing leucogranites, leucogranitic rocks and migmatites indicate a complex brittle fault pattern with two distinct fault groups. A first group of faults (D1) characterized by chlorite, quartz and tourmaline slickenfibres is mainly defined by steeply SSE-dipping oblique-slip normal faults, and by shallowly NNW-dipping normal faults. A second, younger group of faults (D2) characterized by cataclasis products comprises strike-slip faults displaying conjugate patterns and E- and W-dipping conjugate normal faults, all which indicate E-W extension. Cross-cutting relationships amongst the D1 fault group demonstrate that progressively steeper members of the fault group become younger within the NNW-dipping faults and become older within the SSE-dipping faults. These are all post-dated by the D2 fault group. The D1 fault group indicates that the slab experienced ongoing NNW-SSE extension (i.e. flow) via brittle fault accommodation, contemporaneous with fault rotation. This may reflect rotation of the entire upper orogen due to movement over deeply located major ramp structures formed by out-of-sequence thrusting (Kakhtang Thrust) within the High Himalayan Slab of the Bhutan Himalaya.
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The motion and deformation of rocks are processes of fundamental importance in shaping the Earth, from outer crustal layers to the deep mantle. Reconstructions of the evolution of the Earth therefore require detailed knowledge of the geometry of deformation structures and their relative timing, of the motions leading to deformation structures and of the mechanisms governing these motions. This volume contains a collection of 22 papers on field, experimental and theoretical studies that add to our knowledge of these processes. They are a mixture of review papers oh selected topics in the field of structural geology and tectonics and papers on current issues and new techniques and are grouped into four themes:
The effect of fluids on deformation
The interpretation of microstructures and textures
Deformation mechanisms and rheology of crust and upper mantle minerals
Crust and lithosphere tectonics
The volume will appeal to researchers in the fields of structural geology and tectonophysics, both in academia and industry.