Structural and metamorphic evolution of the Karakoram and Pamir following India–Kohistan–Asia collision
Published:October 08, 2019
M. P. Searle, B. R. Hacker, 2019. "Structural and metamorphic evolution of the Karakoram and Pamir following India–Kohistan–Asia collision", Himalayan Tectonics: A Modern Synthesis, P. J. Treloar, M. P. Searle
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Following the c. 50 Ma India–Kohistan arc–Asia collision, crustal thickening uplifted the Himalaya (Indian Plate), and the Karakoram, Pamir and Tibetan Plateau (Asian Plate). Whereas surface geology of Tibet shows limited Cenozoic metamorphism and deformation, and only localized crustal melting, the Karakoram–Pamir show regional sillimanite- and kyanite-grade metamorphism, and crustal melting resulting in major granitic intrusions (Baltoro granites). U/Th–Pb dating shows that metamorphism along the Hunza Karakoram peaked at c. 83–62 and 44 Ma with intrusion of the Hunza dykes at 52–50 Ma and 35 ± 1.0 Ma, and along the Baltoro Karakoram peaked at c. 28–22 Ma, but continued until 5.4–3.5 Ma (Dassu dome). Widespread crustal melting along the Baltoro Batholith spanned 26.4–13 Ma. A series of thrust sheets and gneiss domes (metamorphic core complexes) record crustal thickening and regional metamorphism in the central and south Pamir from 37 to 20 Ma. At 20 Ma, break-off of the Indian slab caused large-scale exhumation of amphibolite-facies crust from depths of 30–55 km, and caused crustal thickening to jump to the fold-and-thrust belt at the northern edge of the Pamir. Crustal thickening, high-grade metamorphism and melting are certainly continuing at depth today in the India–Asia collision zone.
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Himalayan Tectonics: A Modern Synthesis
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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.