Collision tectonics in the Himalaya ca. 50 Ma remobilized the Proterozoic basement and its cover of the Indian plate into the Higher Himalayan crystalline belt. This belt displays an inverted metamorphism progressing from a garnet to a sillimanite-K-feldspar zone toward higher topographic and structural levels. Because previously hypothesized mechanisms are not sufficient to explain inverted metamorphism, we propose that ductile shear displacements along ubiquitous, closely spaced S-C shear planes may have caused metamorphic inversion across a 15-20-km-thick, southwest-vergent, Higher Himalayan shear zone.

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