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Looking at the roots of the highest mountains: the lithospheric structure of the Himalaya-Tibetan orogen from a geophysical-petrological approach

AutorTunini, Lavinia ; Jimenez-Munt, Ivone ; Fernandez, Manel ; Vergés, Jaume ; Villaseñor, Antonio ; Afonso, Juan Carlos
Fecha de publicación13-abr-2015
EditorEuropean Geosciences Union
CitaciónEuropean Geosciences Union General Assembly 2015 Vienna, Austria 12 – 17 April 2015
ResumenBy combining geophysical and petrological information, we investigate the crust and upper mantle of the Himalaya-Tibetan orogen, characterizing the lithosphere from the thermal, compositional and seismological view- point. The resulting crust and upper mantle structure is constrained by available data on elevation, Bouguer anomaly, geoid height, surface heat flow and seismic data including tomography models. A new 2D crustal and upper mantle cross-section up to 400 km depth in the western Himalaya-Tibetan region is presented, crossing the Tarim Basin, Tian Shan, and Junggar region. Our results show a Moho depth of ~40 km beneath the Himalayan foreland basin, progressively deepening northeastwards to ~90 km below the Kunlun Shan. Northward, the crust- mantle boundary remains nearly flat at 50-65 km depth. The lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary lies at 260-290 km depth below the Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau, Tian Shan and Altai Range, and it shallows to ~230 km depth below the southern Tarim Basin and to ~170 km below the Junggar region. The modeled lithospheric mantle com- position is compatible with a generic lherzolitic mantle-type, slightly changing to a more undepleted composition in the deep lithosphere beneath the Tarim Basin due to metasomatism. The Central Asia Orogenic Belt region (Tian Shan, Junggar region and Altai Range) is characterized by a FeO-MgO-rich mantle, likely related to subduction slab-derived fluids. We apply the same modeling approach to existing lithospheric models in the eastern sector of the Himalaya-Tibetan orogen, and compare the results to understand the connection between the present-day lithospheric features and the geodynamic context of the area.
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