The Nanga Parbat-Haramosh massif of the western Himalaya is a north-trending half-window of Indian crust that provides spectacular exposures of Precambrian basement gneisses that have been overprinted by Himalayan metamorphism. We report here petrologic data and U/Pb dates on zircon and monazite which document that Nanga Parbat gneisses underwent a Pliocene-Pleistocene episode of high-grade metamorphism and anatexis during an interval in which the Nanga Parbat massif was undergoing rapid denudation at mean rates of ∼5 mm/yr. We speculate that by initiating decompression melting, this denudation may be at least partly responsible for the anatexis and high-grade metamorphism.

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