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What controls the growth of the Himalayan foreland fold-and-thrust belt?

John Hirschmiller, Djordje Grujic, Bodo Bookhagen, Isabelle Coutand, Pascale Huyghe, Jean-Louis Mugnier and Tank Ojha
What controls the growth of the Himalayan foreland fold-and-thrust belt?
Geology (Boulder) (January 2014) 42 (3): 247-250


We provide empirical evidence for the impact of surface processes on the structure of the present-day foreland fold-and-thrust belt of the Himalaya. We have reconstructed and analyzed ten balanced cross sections distributed along the entire length of the Himalayan arc. Here, we focus on the Siwalik Group, which represents the deformed part of the foreland basin and consists of synorogenic Middle Miocene to Pleistocene sediments that form the youngest and frontal part of the Himalayan orogen. We make two important observations: (1) a distinct west-to-east increase in strain and strain rate correlates with plate convergence rates, and (2) belt morphology is inversely correlated with rainfall amount. According to the predictions of the critical taper model, an eastward increase in convergence rate would induce higher rates of material accretion. Thus, the Himalayan fold-and-thrust belt should widen eastward, yet we have observed the opposite. However, higher annual rainfall amounts and specific stream power appear to favor a narrower belt. Thus, we suggest that the morphology of the Himalayan foreland fold-and-thrust belt is controlled primarily by surface processes, in accordance with the critical taper model.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 42
Serial Issue: 3
Title: What controls the growth of the Himalayan foreland fold-and-thrust belt?
Affiliation: Dalhousie University, Department of Earth Sciences, Halifax, NS, Canada
Pages: 247-250
Published: 20140110
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 30
Accession Number: 2014-009753
Categories: Structural geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: GSA Data Repository item 2014089
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sect., 1 table, geol. sketch map
N27°00'00" - N37°00'00", E72°00'00" - E97°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of California at Santa Barbara, USA, United StatesUniversite Joseph Fourier, FRA, FranceUniversity of Arizona, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201407
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