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Three dimensional tectonic evolution within oblique continent-continent collision


Orogenic (i.e. collisional belt) evolution is classically viewed in two-dimensions, and most models use cross-sections oriented perpendicular to mountain belts in order to describe the general transfer of material and heat. Changes in processes in the third dimension are, however, increasingly recognized as crucial where there is oblique convergence (transpression). Transpressive mountain belts include ( e.g.,) the Himalaya, Alps, and North America Cordillera. Although previous tectonic modeling and thermochronologic studies from active convergence zones (e.g. Southern Alps, NZ) have revealed large and unexpected modifications to 2D models for 3D consideration of oblique subduction, the 3D spatial variations in thermo-tectonic processes within the mid- to upper-crust during oblique collision are less investigated and still poorly understood. It is likely that these variations are also large, and our understanding of crustal processes is therefore inadequate. I propose to address this by investigating the nature and timing of tectonic evolution in the central Karakorum region of the western India-Asia collisional belt; an area of enhanced transpression. Mid-crustal rocks here are re-worked and exposed as a series of domal structures within a narrow corridor. I will visit these domes and carry out structural mapping & fault-surface analyses in conjunction with systematic sampling for micro-structure, & -texture analyses, and to apply geochronologic techniques (U/Pb, Ar-Ar) on different mineral systems. This will characterized which principal structures operated when, for how long, and at what temperature. Integrated numerical modeling of all the data will provide a clear picture of how transpressive collision works.


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