The recent dramatic increase in seismic anisotropy and surface global positioning system (GPS) data for central Asia permits a comprehensive examination of the mantle's role in mountain building. A joint analysis of 178 shear-wave-splitting and ~2000 GPS observations using a new technique reveals that the crust and lithospheric mantle deform coherently, arguing for crust-mantle mechanical coupling during deformation. The observed spatial variations in anisotropy reflect the large-scale pattern of lithospheric deformation, as well as a change in deformational style from simple shear on the Tibetan Plateau transitioning to pure shear in surrounding regions.

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