thumbnail

Neotectonic inversion of the Hindu Kush-Pamir mountain region

Himalayan Geology
By:

Links

  • The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time
  • Download citation as: RIS | Dublin Core

Abstract

The Hindu Kush-Pamir region of southern Asia is one of Earth's most rapidly deforming regions and it is poorly understood. This study develops a kinematic model based on active faulting in this part of the Trans-Himalayan orogenic belt. Previous studies have described north-verging thrust faults and some strike-slip faults, reflected in the northward-convex geomorphologic and structural grain of the Pamir Mountains. However, this structural analysis suggests that contemporary tectonics are changing the style of deformation from north-verging thrusts formed during the initial contraction of the Himalayan orogeny to south-verging thrusts and a series of northwest-trending, dextral strike-slip faults in the modern transpressional regime. These northwest-trending fault zones are linked to the major right-lateral Karakoram fault, located to the east, as synthetic, conjugate shears that form a right-stepping en echelon pattern. Northwest-trending lineaments with dextral displacements extend continuously westward across the Hindu Kush-Pamir region indicating a pattern of systematic shearing of multiple blocks to the northwest as the deformation effects from Indian plate collision expands to the north-northwest. Locally, east-northeast- and northwest-trending faults display sinistral and dextral displacement, respectively, yielding conjugate shear pairs developed in a northwest-southeast compressional stress field. Geodetic measurements and focal mechanisms from historical seismicity support these surficial, tectono-morphic observations. The conjugate shear pairs may be structurally linked subsidiary faults and co-seismically slip during single large magnitude (> M7) earthquakes that occur on major south-verging thrust faults. This kinematic model provides a potential context for prehistoric, historic, and future patterns of faulting and earthquakes.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Neotectonic inversion of the Hindu Kush-Pamir mountain region
Series title Himalayan Geology
Volume 32
Issue 2
Year Published 2011
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Himalayan Geology
First page 95
Last page 111
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional metadata about this publication, not found in other parts of the page is in this table