The two intracrustal boundary thrusts of the Himalaya

Valdiya, K. S. (1980) The two intracrustal boundary thrusts of the Himalaya Tectonophysics, 66 (4). pp. 323-348. ISSN 0040-1951

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The series of four different, steeply inclined thrusts which sharply sever the youthful autochthonous Cenozoic sedimentary zone, including the Siwalik, from the mature old Lesser Himalayan subprovince is collectively known as the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT). In the proximity of this trust in northwestern and eastern sectors, the parautochtonous Lesser Himalayan sedimentary formations are pushed up and their narrow frontal parts split into imbricate sheets with attendant repetition and inversion of lithostratigraphic units. The superficially steeper thrust plane seems to flatten out at depth. The MBT is tectonically and seismically very active at the present time. The Main Central Thrust (MCT), inclined 30° to 45° northwards, constitutes the real boundary between the Lesser and Great Himalaya. Marking an abrubt change in the style and orientation of structures and in the grade of metamorphism from lower amphibolitefacies of the Lesser Himalayan to higher metamorphic facies of the Great Himalayan, the redefined Main Central Thrust lies at a higher level as that originally recognized by A. Heim and A. Gansser. They had recognized this thrust as the contact of the mesozonal metamorphics against the underlying sedimentaries or epimetamorphics. It has now been redesignated as the Munsiari Thrust in Kumaun. It extends northwest in Himachal as the Jutogh Thrust and farther in Kashmir as the Panjal Thrust. In the eastern Himalaya the equivalents of the Munsiari Thrust are known as the Paro Thrust and the Bomdila Thrust. The upper thrust surface in Nepal is recognized as the Main Central Thrust by French and Japanese workers. The easterly extension of the MCT is known as the Khumbu Thrust in eastern Nepal, the Darjeeling Thrust in the Darjeeling-Sikkim region, the Thimpu Thrust in Bhutan and the Sela Thrust in western Arunachal. Significantly, hot springs occur in close proximity to this thrust in Kumaun, Nepal and Bhutan. There are reasons to believe that movement is taking place along the MCT, although seismically it is less active than the MBT.

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