Structural evolution, metamorphism and melting in the Greater Himalayan Sequence in central-western Nepal
Published:October 08, 2019
Rodolfo Carosi, Chiara Montomoli, Salvatore Iaccarino, Dario Visonà, 2019. "Structural evolution, metamorphism and melting in the Greater Himalayan Sequence in central-western Nepal", Himalayan Tectonics: A Modern Synthesis, P. J. Treloar, M. P. Searle
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Joining geological mapping, structural analysis, petrology and geochronology allowed the internal architecture of the Greater Himalayan Sequence (GHS) to be unraveled. Several top-to-the-south/SW tectonic–metamorphic discontinuities developed at the regional scale, dividing it into three main units exhumed progressively from the upper to the lower one, starting from c. 40 Ma and lasting for several million years. The activity of shear zones has been constrained and linked to the pressure–temperature–time–deformation (P–T–t–D) evolution of the deformed rocks by the use of petrochronology. Hanging wall and footwall rocks of the shear zones recorded maximum P–T conditions at different times. Above the Main Central Thrust, a cryptic tectonometamorphic discontinuity (the High Himalayan Discontinuity (HHD)) has been recognized in Central-Eastern Himalaya.
The older shear zone, that was active at c. 41–28 Ma, triggered the earlier exhumation of the uppermost GHS and allowed the migration of melt, which was produced at peak metamorphic conditions and subsequently produced in abundance at the time of the activation of the HHD. Production of melt continued at low pressure, with nearly isobaric heating leading to the genesis and emplacement of andalusite- and cordierite-bearing granites.
The timing of the activation of the shear zones from deeper to upper structural levels fits with an in-sequence shearing tectonic model for the exhumation of the GHS, further affected by out-of-sequence thrusts.
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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.