Underplating in the Himalaya-Tibet collision zone revealed by the Hi-CLIMB experiment

Science. 2009 Sep 11;325(5946):1371-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1167719.


We studied the formation of the Himalayan mountain range and the Tibetan Plateau by investigating their lithospheric structure. Using an 800-kilometer-long, densely spaced seismic array, we have constructed an image of the crust and upper mantle beneath the Himalayas and the southern Tibetan Plateau. The image reveals in a continuous fashion the Main Himalayan thrust fault as it extends from a shallow depth under Nepal to the mid-crust under southern Tibet. Indian crust can be traced to 31 degrees N. The crust/mantle interface beneath Tibet is anisotropic, indicating shearing during its formation. The dipping mantle fabric suggests that the Indian mantle is subducting in a diffuse fashion along several evolving subparallel structures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.