Published:October 08, 2019
The Kohistan–Ladakh terrane, northern Pakistan/India, offers a unique insight into whole-arc processes. This research review presents summaries of fundamental crustal genesis and evolution models. Earlier work focused on arc sequence definition. Later work focused on holistic petrogenesis. A new model emerges of an unusually thick (c. 55 km) arc with a c. 30 km-thick batholith. Volatile-rich, hornblende ± garnet ± sediment assimilation-controlled magmatism is predominant. The thick batholith has a complementary mafic–ultramafic residue. Kohistan crustal SiO2 contents are estimated at >56%. The new-Kohistan, silicic-crust model contrasts with previous lower SiO2 estimates (c. 51% SiO2 crust) and modern arcs that imply <35 km crustal thicknesses and arc batholith thicknesses of c. 7 km. A synthetic overview of Kohistan–Ladakh volcanic rocks presents a model of an older, cleaved/deformed Cretaceous volcanic system at least 800 km across strike. The Jaglot–Chalt–Dras–Shyok volcanics exhibit predominant tholeiitic-calc-alkaline signatures, with a range of arc-related facies/tectonic settings. A younger, post-collisional, Tertiary silicic volcanic system (the Shamran–Dir–Dras-2–Khardung volcanics) lie unconformably upon Cretaceous basement, and erupted within an intra-continental tectonic setting. Kohistan–Ladakh tectonic model controversies remain. In essence, isotope-focused researchers prefer later (Tertiary) collisions, whilst structural field-geology-orientated researchers prefer an older (Cretaceous) age for the Northern/Shyok Suture.
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Himalayan Tectonics: A Modern Synthesis
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS
The Himalaya–Karakoram–Tibet mountain belt resulted from Cenozoic collision of India and Asia and is frequently used as the type example of a continental collision orogenic belt. The last quarter of a century has seen the publication of a remarkably detailed dataset relevant to the evolution of this belt. Detailed fieldwork backed up by state-of-the-art structural analysis, geochemistry, mineral chemistry, igneous and metamorphic petrology, isotope chemistry, sedimentology and geophysics produced a wide-ranging archive of data-rich scientific papers. The rationale for this book is to provide a coherent overview of these datasets in addressing the evolution of the mountain ranges we see today.
This volume comprises 21 specially invited review papers on the Himalaya, Kohistan arc, Tibet, the Karakoram and Pamir ranges. These papers span the history of Himalayan research, chronology of the collision, stratigraphy, magmatic and metamorphic processes, structural geology and tectonics, seismicity, geophysics, and the evolution of the Indian monsoon. This landmark set of papers should underpin the next 25 years of Himalayan research.