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Paleostress inversion and outcrop fracture analysis of the brittle deformation along Main Boundary Thrust (MBT), NW Himalaya, Pakistan

Abstract

Fractures are the prominent deformation-induced structural features that develop in the rocks under brittle regime. Establishing a relationship between structural development and paleostress orientations is thus necessary to propose the comprehensive tectonic models of the study area. The study area lies in Lesser Himalaya (LH), which is restricted by the Main Central Thrust (MCT) in the north while the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) lies south of it. This study aims to analyze the fracture pattern in the rocks along the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT, NW Himalaya, Pakistan) and perform paleostress analysis. Fifty different circle inventories were drawn in the field and 550 individual fracture orientations were observed and recorded. The data obtained includes orientation (dip amount, direction and strike) of fracture planes, density in terms of abundance within the definite area and fracture filling material within the circle. The fracture data is then interpreted through Win-Tensor program for paleostress inversion. It is a computer interactive program based on Right Dihedron Method for fracture analysis and paleostress reconstruction. The results demonstrate a compressive tectonic regime with ~NNW–SSE trending σ1. It is suggested that the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) is developed almost perpendicular to maximum principal stress orientation.

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Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the Institute of Geology, University of the Punjab, Lahore for the data used in the research work. We are also thankful to Win-Tensor developer, Dr Damien Delvaux, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium for providing free access for academic purposes. We thank Prof Soumyajit Mukherjee for his detailed reviews, corrections and valuable suggestions for improving the paper.

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Muhammad Armaghan Faisal Miraj is the main author and contributed to data collection, analysis, software handling and writing of the manuscript. Hassan Mehmood contributed as the main author in field data collection, processing, writing, evaluation and handling of the manuscript. Iqra Bano contributed to the acquisition of field data. Naveed Ahsan contributed to sort out field-based complexities, regional geology and supervision of the manuscript. Abdul Qayyum helps out in field data analysis and refinement of the results. Rana Faizan Saleem assisted in graphics preparation.

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Correspondence to Hassan Mehmood.

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Supplementary material pertaining to this article is available on the Journal of Earth System Science website (http://www.ias.ac.in/Journals/Journal_of_Earth_System_Science).

Communicated by Saibal Gupta

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Ahsan, N., Mehmood, H., Miraj, M.A.F. et al. Paleostress inversion and outcrop fracture analysis of the brittle deformation along Main Boundary Thrust (MBT), NW Himalaya, Pakistan. J Earth Syst Sci 130, 192 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12040-021-01678-z

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Keywords

  • Paleostress inversion
  • Fracture analysis
  • Main Boundary Thrust
  • Northwest Himalaya