Advertisement

Thrust Sheets, Tectonic Windows, and Intermontane Basins in the Nepal Himalaya

  • Megh Raj Dhital
  • Basanta Raj AdhikariEmail author
Chapter
  • 35 Downloads
Part of the Society of Earth Scientists Series book series (SESS)

Abstract

The Himalayan Range is generally classified into a number of broad longitudinal tectonic belts. Despite a long history of investigation, some fundamental issues of their stratigraphy and structure are still unresolved. Especially, there has been considerable controversy over delineating the Greater Himalayan and Lesser Himalayan belts of Nepal. The Greater Himalayan thrust sheet represents the hanging wall of the Main Central Thrust. In Nepal, the thrust sheet forms two large open folds: the Great Midland Antiform in the inner zone and the Great Mahabharat Synform in the outer part. The Main Himalayan Thrust and Main Central Thrust constitute respectively the floor and roof of a mega duplex where some detached Lesser Himalayan horses are exposed in various tectonic windows. The Main Himalayan Thrust plays a role of sole thrust in the imbricate stack developed within the foreland fold-and-thrust belt. The key structural and stratigraphic aspects of thrust sheets, tectonic windows, klippen, and intermontane basins are discussed together with the neotectonic activity in the Nepal Himalaya.

Keywords

Nepal himalaya Tectonic window Thrust sheet Mega duplex Active fault Thakkhola graben 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Tribhuvan University and the Department of Mines and Geology, the Government of Nepal, for their support and laboratory facilities.

References

  1. Adhikari BR (2009) Sedimentology and basin analysis of the Thakkhola-Mustang graben, Central Nepal. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, submitted to Vienna UniversityGoogle Scholar
  2. Adhikari BR, Wagreich M (2011a) Facies analysis and basin architecture of the Thakkhola-Mustang graben (neogene-quaternary), Central Nepal Himalaya. Austrian J Earth Sci 104:66–80Google Scholar
  3. Adhikari BR, Wagreich M (2011b) Provenance evolution of collapse graben fill in the Himalaya—the miocene to quaternary Thakkhola-Mustang graben (Nepal). Sediment Geol 233:1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Adhikari LB, Gautam UP, Koirala BP, Bhattarai M, Kandel T, Gupta RM, Timsina C, Maharjan N, Dahal T, Hoste-Colomer R, Canao Y, Dandine M, Guilherm A, Merrer S, Roudil P, Bollinger L (2015) The aftershock sequence of the 2015 April 25 Gorkha-Nepal earthquake. Geophys J Int 203:2119–2124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Amatya KM, Jnawali BM (1994). Geological map of Nepal, scale: 1:1000,000. Department of Mines and Geology, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft e.V., and United Nation as Environment ProgrammeGoogle Scholar
  6. Argand E (1924) La tectonique de l’Asie. Congrès Géologique International, Belgique, Comptes Rendues de la 13ème Session, en Belgique 1922. H. Vaillant-Carmanne, Liège, pp 171–372Google Scholar
  7. Arita K (1983) Origin of the inverted metamorphism of the lower Himalaya, Central Nepal. Tectonophysics 95:43–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Auden JB (1934) The geology of the Krol Belt. Rec Geol Surv India LXVII(4):357–454 (with 9 plates, including a geological map in colours, scale: 1 inch = 2 miles)Google Scholar
  9. Avouac J-P (2003) Mountain building, erosion and seismic cycle in the Nepal Himalaya. Adv Geophys 46:1–80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Avouac J-P, Meng L, Wei S, Wang T, Ampuero J-P (2015) Lower edge of locked Main Himalayan thrust unzipped by the 2015 Gorkha earthquake. Nat Geosci 8:708–711CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ballévre M, Manzotti P, Dal Piaz EV (2018) Pre-alpine (variscan) inheritance: a key for the location of the future valaisan basin (Western Alps). Tectonics 37:786–817CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bashyal RP (1982) Geological framework of far Western Nepal. Himal Geol Wadia Inst Himal Geol 12:40–50Google Scholar
  13. Bashyal RP (1986). Geology of lesser Himalaya, far Western Nepal. In: Le Fort P, Colchen M, Montenat C (eds) Évolution des domains orogéniques d’Asie méridionale (de la Turquie à l’Indonésie), Livre jubilaire Pierre Bordet, Sciences de la Terre, Mémoire no. 47, Nancy, pp 31–42Google Scholar
  14. Berthelsen A (1951) A geological section through the Himalaya: a preliminary report. Bull Geol Soc Den 12:102–104Google Scholar
  15. Beyssac O, Bollinger L, Avouac J-P, Goffé B (2004) Thermal metamorphism in the lesser Himalaya of Nepal determined from Raman spectroscopy of carbonaceous material. Earth Planet Sci Lett 225(1–2):233–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bhargava ON (2000) The precambrian sequences in the Western Himalaya. Geol Surv India Spec Publ 55:69–84Google Scholar
  17. Bhargava ON, Thöni M, Miller C (2016) Isotopic evidence of early palaeozoic metamorphism in the lesser Himalaya (Jutogh Group), Himachal Pradesh, India: its implication. Himal Geol 37(2):73–84Google Scholar
  18. Bilham R (1995) Location and magnitude of the 1833 Nepal earthquake and its relation to the rupture zones of contiguous great Himalayan earthquakes. Curr Sci 69(2):101–128Google Scholar
  19. Bilham R, Larson K, Freymueller J et al (1997) GPS measurements of present-day convergence across the Nepal Himalaya. Nature 386:61–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Bilham R, England P (1995) Entertaining a great earthquake in western Nepal: historic inactivity and geodetic tests for the development of strain. J Nepal Geol Soc 11:73–88Google Scholar
  21. Bordet P (1961). Recherches Géologiques dans L’Himalaya du Népal, Région du Makalu, Expéditions Françaises a l’Himalaya 1954–1955. Edition du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (C. N. R. S.), p 275 (with two geological maps in colours)Google Scholar
  22. Brown RL, Nazarchuk JH (1993) Annapurna detachment fault in the Greater Himalaya of Central Nepal. Geol Soc Lond Spec Publ 74:461–473CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Burchfiel BC, Zhiliang C, Hodges KV, Yuping L, Royden LH, Changrong D (1992) The South Tibetan detachment system, Himalayan Orogen: extension contemporaneous with and parallel to shortening in a collisional mountain belt. Geol Soc Am Spec Pap 269:1–41Google Scholar
  24. Carosi R, Montomoli C, Visoná D (2007) A structural transect in the lower Dolpo: insights on the tectonic evolution of western Nepal. J Asian Earth Sci 29:407–423CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Carosi R, Montomoli C, Iaccarino S, Visonà D (2018a) 20 years of geological mapping of the metamorphic core across Central and Eastern Himalayas. Earth Sci Rev 177:124–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Carosi R, Montomoli C, Iaccarino S, Visonà D (2018b) Structural evolution, metamorphism and melting in the greater Himalayan sequence in central-western Nepal. Geological Society, London, Special Publications no 483.  https://doi.org/10.1144/SP483.3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Colchen M (1999) The Thakkhola-Mustang graben in Nepal and the late cenozoic extension in the higher Himalayas. J Asian Earth Sci 17:683–702CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Coleman M, Hodges K (1995) Evidence for Tibetan plateau uplift before 14 Myr ago from a new minimum age for east–west extension. Nature 374:49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Dal Piaz GV, Bistachhi A, Massironi M (2003) Geological outline of the Alps. Episodes 26:175–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. DeCelles PG, Gehrels GE, Quade J, Lareau B, Spurlin M (2000) Tectonic implications of U-Pb zircon ages of the Himalayan orogenic belt in Nepal. Science 288:497–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. DeCelles PG, Gehrels GE, Quade J, Kapp PA, Ojha TP, Upreti BN (1998) Neogene foreland basin deposits, erosional unroofing, and the kinematic history of the Himalayan fold-thrust belt, western Nepal. Geol Soc Am Bull 110:2–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. DeCelles PG, Robinson DM, Quade J, Ojha TP, Garzione CN, Copeland P, Upreti BN (2001) Stratigraphy, structure and tectonic evolution of the Himalayan fold–thrust belt in western Nepal. Tectonics 20:487–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Dhital MR (2015) Geology of the Nepal Himalaya: regional perspective of the classic collided orogen. Springer, Berlin, p 498Google Scholar
  34. Dhital MR, Kizaki K (1987) Structural aspect of the Northern Dang, lesser Himalaya. Bull Coll Sci Univ Ryukyus 45:159–182Google Scholar
  35. Dikshit AM (1991) Geological effects and intensity distribution of the Udayapur (Nepal) earthquake of August 20, 1988. J Nepal Geol Soc 7:1–17Google Scholar
  36. Einfalt HC, Hoehndorf A, Kaphle KP (1993) Rediometric age determination of the Dadeldhura granite, Lesser Himalaya, Far Western Nepal. Schweiz Miner Petrogr Mitt 73:97–106Google Scholar
  37. England P, Molnar P (1990) Surface uplift, uplift of rocks, and exhumation of rocks. Geology 18:1173–1177CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Fort M, Freytet P, Colchen M (1982) Structural and sedimentological evolution of the Thakkhola-Mustang Graben (Nepal Himalaya). Z Für Geomorphol 42:75–98Google Scholar
  39. Frank W, Fuchs GR (1970) Geological investigations in West Nepal and their significance for the geology of the Himalayas. Geol Rundsch 59:552–580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Fuchs G (1977) The geology of the Karnali and Dolpo Regions, Western Nepal. Jahrb Geol Bundesanst Wien 120(2):1–103 (with 9 plates)Google Scholar
  41. Fuchs G (1981) Geologic-tectonic map of the Himalaya. Scale: 1:2,000,000. Geol Bundesanst WienGoogle Scholar
  42. Fuchs G, Frank W (1970). The geology of West Nepal between the rivers Kali Gandaki and Thulo Bheri. Jahrb Geol Bundesanst 18:1–103 (with a geological map and cross-sections)Google Scholar
  43. Gansser A (1964) Geology of the Himalayas. Interscience, New York, p 289Google Scholar
  44. Garzanti E, Baud A, Mascle G (1987) Sedimentary record of the northward flight of India and its collision with Eurasia (Ladakh Himalaya, India). Geodin Acta 1:297–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Garzione CN, DeCelles PG, Hodkinson DG, Ojha TP, Upreti BN (2003) East-West extension and miocene environmental change in the southern Tibetan plateau: Thakkhola graben, Central Nepal. Geol Soc Am Bull 115:3–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Garzione CN, Dettman DL, Quade J, DeCelles PG, Butler RF (2000) High times on the tibetan plateau: paleoelevation of the Thakkhola graben. Nepal Geol 28:339–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Godin L (2003) Structural evolution of the tethyan sedimentary sequence in the Annapurna area, Central Nepal Himalaya. J Asian Earth Sci 22:307–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Goscombe B, Gray D, Hand M (2006) Crustal architecture of the Himalayan metamorphic front in eastern Nepal. Gondwana Res 10:232–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Hagen T (1969) Report on the geological survey of Nepal. Volume 1: preliminary reconnaissance. Denkschiiften der Schweizerischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft, Band LXXXVI/1, p 185 (with a geological map)Google Scholar
  50. Harrison MT, Lovera OM, Grove M (1997) New insights into the origin of two contrasting Himalayan granite belts. Geology 25:899–902CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Hashimoto S, Ohta Y, Akiba C (1973) Geology of the Nepal Himalayas. Saikon Publishing Co. Ltd., Tokyo, p 292 (with 6 plates including a geological map of Nepal (Plates 1 and 2) in colours, scale: 1:500,000)Google Scholar
  52. Heim A (1922) Geologie der Schweiz. Verlag Chr. Herm. Tauchnitz, Leibzig, p 704Google Scholar
  53. Heim A, Gansser A (1939). Central Himalaya: geological observations of the Swiss expedition 1936. Denkschriften der Schweizerischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft, Band LXXIII, Abh. 1:245 (with geological maps in colors, sections, and plates)Google Scholar
  54. Hurtado JM Jr, Hodges KV, Whipple KX (2001) Neotectonics of the Thakkhola graben and implications for recent activity on the South Tibetan fault system in the Central Nepal Himalaya. Geol Soc Am Bull 113:222–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Johnson MRW (1994) Volume balance of erosional loss and sediment deposition related to Himalayan uplifts. J Geol Soc Lond 151:217–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Kapp P, Guynn JH (2004) Indian punch rifts Tibet. Geology 32:993–996CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Khan HR (1996) Geology of a part of Bajhang District, Far Western Nepal. Unpublished report (submitted to the Department of Mines and Geology, Kathmandu, Nepal, with a geological map on a scale of 1 inch to 1 mile)Google Scholar
  58. Khan HR (2000) Geology of a part of Bajhang and Bajura Districts, Far Western Nepal. Unpublished report (submitted to the Department of Mines and Geology, Kathmandu, Nepal, with a geological map on a scale of 1 inch to 1 mile)Google Scholar
  59. Le Fort P (1971) Les formations cristallophyliennes de la Thakkhola. In: Bordet P, Colchen M, Krummenacher D, Le Fort P, Mouterde R, Rémi M (eds) Recherches géologiques dans l’Himalaya du Népal, région de la Thakkhola. Centre National de la Reserches Scientifique, Paris, pp 41–48Google Scholar
  60. Le Fort P (1975) Himalaya: the collided range. Am J Sci 275A:1–44Google Scholar
  61. Le Fort P, Debon F, Sonet J (1983) The lower Paleozoic—Lesser Himalayan granitic belt: emphasis on the Simchar pluton of central Nepal. In: Shams FA (ed) Granites of Himalaya, Karakorum, and Hindu-Kush. Institute of Geology, Punjab University, Lahore, pp 235–255Google Scholar
  62. Le Fort P, France-Lanord C (1994) Granites from Mustang and surrounding regions, Central Nepal. J Nepal Geol Soc 10:79–81Google Scholar
  63. Lombard A (1958) Un itinéraire géologique dans l’Est du Népal (Massif du Mont Everest). Mémoires Société Helvétique Sci Natlles 82(1):107Google Scholar
  64. Macedo J, Marshak S (1999) Controls on geometry of fold-thrust belt salients. Geol Soc Am Bull 111:1808–1822CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Malusá M, Faccenna C, Garzanti E, Polino R (2011) Divergence in subduction zones and exhumation of high pressure rocks (Eocene Western Alps). Earth Planet Sci Lett 310:21–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Manzotti P, Zucali M (2013) The pre-alpine tectonic history of the Austroalpine continental basement in the Alpelline unit (Western Italian Alps). Geol Mag 150:153–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Mehta PK (1977) Rb–Sr geochronology of the kullu-mandi belts: its implications for the Himalaya. Sond Geologic Runds 66:186–195Google Scholar
  68. Middlemiss CS (1910) The Kangra earthquake of 4th April 1905. Memoier Geol Surv India XXXVIII:1–409Google Scholar
  69. Molnar P (2015) Plate tectonics. A Very Short Introduction, Oxford, p 136Google Scholar
  70. Molnar P, Tapponnier P (1978) Active tectonics of Tibet. J Geophys Research Solid Earth 83:5361–5375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Nakata T (1982) A photogrametric study on active faults in the Nepal Himalayas. J Nepal Geol Soc 2:67–80 (Special Issue)Google Scholar
  72. Oldham RD (1899) Report on the great Earthquake of 12th June 1987. Memoier Geol Surv India XXIV:1–379Google Scholar
  73. Pandey MR, Tandukar RP, Avouac J-P, Lavé J, Massot JP (1995) Interseismic strain accumulation on the Himalayan crustal ramp (Nepal). Geophys Res Lett 22:751–754CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Pandey MR, Tandukar RP, Avouac J-P, Vergne J, Heritier T (1999) Seismotectonics of Nepal Himalayas from a local seismic network. J Asian Earth Sci 17:703–712CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Patel R, Singh S, Asokan A, Manickavasagam R, Jain A (1993) Extensional tectonics in the Himalayan orogen, Zanskar, NW India. Geol Soc, Lond, Spec Publ 74:445–459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Platt J, England P (1994) Convective removal of lithosphere beneath mountain belts-Thermal and mechanical consequences. Am J Sci 294:307–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Ramsay JG (1967). Folding and fracturing of rocks. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, p 568Google Scholar
  78. Robinbson DM, Martin AJ (2014) Reconstructing the greater Indian margin: a balanced cross-section in Central Nepal focusing on the lesser Himalayan duplex. Tectonics 33:2143–2168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Robinson DM, DeCelles PG, Copeland P (2006) Tectonic evolution of the Himalayan thrust belt in Western Nepal: implications for channel flow models. Bull Geol Soc Am 118:865–885CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Schelling D, Arita K (1991) Thrust tectonics, crustal shortening, and the structure of the far-eastern Nepal Himalaya. Tectonics 10:851–862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Schmid SM, Pfiffner OA, Froitzheim N, Schönborn G, Kissling E (1996) Geophysical-geological transect and tectonic evolution of the Swiss-Italian Alps. Tectonics 15:1036–1064CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Searle MP, Law RD, Godin L, Larson KP, Streule MJ, Cottle JM, Jessup MJ (2008) The Himalayan main central thrust in Nepal. J Geol Soc Lond 165:523–534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Searle M, Windley B, Coward M, Cooper D, Rex A, Rex D, Tingdong L, Xuchang X, Jan M, Thakur V (1987) The closing of tethys and the tectonics of the Himalaya. Geol Soc Am Bull 98:678–701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Seeber L, Armbruster JG (1981) Great detachment Earthquake along the Himalayan arc and long-term forecasting. Earthq Predict: Int Rev Am Geophys Union 4:259–277Google Scholar
  85. Sharma ML, Malik S (2006) Probabilistic seismic hazard analysis and estimation of spectral strong ground motion on bed rock in northeast India. In: Fourth international conference earthquake engineering, Taiwan, Paper No. 015, pp 1–10Google Scholar
  86. Shrestha SB, Shrestha JN, Sharma SR (1987) Geological map of Mid-Western Nepal. Scale: 1:250,000. Department of Mines and Geology, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  87. Stöcklin J (1980) Geology of Nepal and its regional frame. J Geol Soc Lond 137:1–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Stöcklin J, Bhattarai KD, Singh-Chhetri V, Bhandari AN (1982) Photogeological map of part of Central Nepal. Scale: 1:100,000Google Scholar
  89. Talalov VA (1972) Geology and ores of Nepal. UNDP report, Department of Mines and Geology, Kathmandu, 4 volumes (unpublished)Google Scholar
  90. Upreti BN, Rai SM, Sakai H, Koirala DR, Takigami Y (2003) Early Proterozoic granite of the Taplejung window, far eastern lesser Nepal Himalaya. J Nepal Geol Soc 28:9–18Google Scholar
  91. Upreti BN, Le Fort P (1999) Lesser Himalayan crystalline nappes of Nepal: problems of their origin. Geol Soc Am Spec Pap 328:225–238Google Scholar
  92. Valdiya KS (1980) Geology of Kumaun lesser Himalaya. Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehra Dun, p 291 (with a map in colours)Google Scholar
  93. Webb AAG, Yin A, Harrison TM, Célérier J, Burgess P (2007) The leading edge of the greater Himalayan crystalline complex revealed in the NW Indian Himalaya: implications for the evolution of the Himalayan orogeny. Geology 35(10):955–958CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. West WD (1939) The structure of the Shali ‘window’ near Simla. Rec Geol Surv India 74(1):133–163 (with 4 plates and a geological map in colours; scale: 1 inch = 2 miles)Google Scholar
  95. Yin A (2000) Mode of Cenozoic east-west extension in Tibet suggesting a common origin of rifts in Asia during the Indo-Asian collision. J Geophys Res: Solid Earth 105:21745–21759CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Yin A, Kapp PA, Murphy MA, Manning CE, Mark Harrison T, Grove M, Lin D, Xi-Guang D, Cun-Ming W (1999) Significant late Neogene east-west extension in northern Tibet. Geology 27:787–790CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Yoshida M, Igarashi Y, Arita K, Hayashi D, Sharma T (1984) Magnetostratigraphic and pollen analytic studies of the Takmar series, Nepal Himalayas. J Nepal Geol Soc 4:101–120. (Special Issue)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyTri-Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan UniversityKirtipurNepal
  2. 2.Institute for Disaster Management and ReconstructionSichuan University-Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityChengduChina
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringInstitute of Engineering, Tribhuvan UniversityLalitpurNepal

Personalised recommendations