The systematic restoration of thrust systems provides a powerful constraint on the deep structure of orogenic belts. A balanced cross section, through the imbricated upper crust of the Indian plate in the footwall to the Main Mantle thrust of the western Himalaya, restores to a minimum width of 730 km, the implicit shortening being in excess of 470 km. This requires the Himalaya and southern Tibetan region to be underlain by a wedge of Indian crust. However, a full appraisal of gross crustal structure awaits deep seismic control.

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