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HIMALAYAN GEODYNAMICS: NEW CHALLENGES

B.R. Arora
Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology,
Dehradun
arorabr@wihg.res.in

Workshop on
Indian Contributions to International Science Years
Indian National Science Academy,
New Delhi
October 3, 2007

Mandate to unravel the geological truths related to


mountains building- so as to

 develop models of geodynamic evolution of Himalaya,


 provide improved understanding of the evolution of life,
natural resources, influence on climate,
physical processes responsible for natural hazards.

Space Distribution of Seismic e vents in the NW Himalaya during 1552-2004

ng
Ka
Ch
r aba
am

1 9 October 1 9 91 , Mb6 .4
Utta rka shi ea rthqua ke

ab

G ar

hw
al- K
um
a

on

wa
r

nj

De
l hi
-H
a rid

Pu

t
r an
nt
e
Re

2 9 Ma rch 19 99 , Mw6 .6
Cha mo li ea rthqua ke

Magnitude
< 1 .0
1 .0 1 .9
2 .0 2 .9
3 .0 3 .9
4 .0 4 .9
5 .0 5 .9
6 .0 6 .9
7 .0 7 .9
M8 .0 , Ka ng ra
ea rthqua ke 1 90 5

Seismicity: 1985-2003 (M>4.3)


36

34

La titud e

High Seismic Zones:

1- Kangra-Chamba

32

2 - Garhwal
3 - Dharchula

30

Low Seismic Zone

4 - Punjab reentrant
5- Transv erse High

28
74

76

78
La titu de

80

82

Seismic Zone

Space depth distribution of Seismicity


across the Frontal Himalaya

Depth distribution of micro Earthquakes in the frontal Garhwal Himalaya (after


Khattri, 1990)
Alignment of hypocenters of moderate Earthquakes along northward dipping
linear plane (after Ni and Barazangi, 1984).

Seismic Arrary in Kangra


Kangra--Chamba Region
D

Ea rth qu ake
e pice nt er
Statio n
M8 .0

C
A
Karakoram

Stations
WIH
G
Oth er

Delhi

Crustal Velocity Model for Kangra Himalaya


Vp (k m/s)

Vs (km/s)

5.0 5.5 6.0 6. 5 7.0 7. 5 8.0 8.5

Vp/Vs

2.8 3. 23.64.0 4. 44.8 1.61. 71. 8

0
-5
-10

D e pth (k m )

-15

30

-20
-25
-30

Vp =6 .3 8 Vs=3 .72 =1 .71


35

-35

40

-40

45
Vp =8 .2 6 Vs=4 .73 =1 .7 4
50

-45
-50

Mainly 5- layer crustal velocity model

=Vp/Vs

Anomalous layer at 15-18 km depth with high Vp/Vs ratio

Seismic activity across the Dhauladhar Ranges of Himalaya

Electrical Resistivity Imaging of Frontal Himalaya


0
20
40
60
80
Kms

Process of generation and migration of fluids in the Himalaya


and their influence in seismogenesis

a)
b)
c)

Water squeezed/driven off from sediments down going with Indian platecompaction and loading.
Tectonic deformation in the collision zone may enhance the release of
structural water.
Frictional heating associated with underthrusting process may initiate
metamorphic dehydration reaction and release free fluids.

Seismicity-Tectonic linkage along the Kangra Profile AB and Chamba


Profile CD: The depth distribution of hypocenters
Red
line
approx imate
the
geometry of the mapped low
velocity layer that define the lower
cut-off
crustal
seismicity,
interpreted
as
detachment
separating the top of the down
going Indias from th wedge of
Himalaya.
Alignment of hypocenters help to
trace the subsurface ex tensions of
the major thrust zones
The large dip of Fault Plane
Solutions
of
near
surface
earthquakes and low dip at depth
indicate that major thrust zones
sole down to detachment

Dedicated
Regional

Current Contributors to DREAM

Earthquake

WIHG

IMD

Analy sis &


M onitoring
TeleSM (WIHG)
CSIO
Kumaun
HIM SELP (WIHG)

Key Advances
Enhanced Seismological Monitoring

Continuous strengthening of seismological network has


greatly improved our understanding of distribution of
earthquakes in space and time
Geophysical observations are able to provide
delineation and mapping of seismogenic structures
description of earthquake sources and mechanism
Strain Budget
Identification of critically stressed segments

- Need for Earthquake Precursory Studies

WIHGs MULTI
WIHG
MULTI-- PARAMET ERIC GEOPHYSICAL OBSERVATORY
GHUTTU, UTTARAKHAND
BBS
&
Accelerograph

Guttu

GPS
&
Strain meter

Magnetic
Observations

Resisti vity
Measurements

aims at generating
high quality geophysical data
base for
Earth
quake
Precursory
Super
conductive
Research
Gravimeter

EM emission
In
ULF Band

Ground
water

Radon
Monitoring

Cross Section of the Hi mal aya


Inverted
Metamorphism Sequence
With Inverted Metamorphism Zones
in High Himalaya
SW

Garnet
Biotite
Chlorite

Staurolite Kyanit
MCT
e

NE
Sillima nite

Higher Himalaya Crystallines

Lesser Himalaya

2 Km

Channel Flow Model:


Presence of partially molten mid-crust beneath
TransHimalaya (Ladhak) favour that inverted
metamorphic belt in HHC represents the extruded
portion of this molten material

Siwalik Group
Lesser Him alayan Formations
Higher Himalayan Cry stalline (HHC)
(with inverted metamorphism)

Higher Himalayan Granite (HHG)


North Himalayan Granite (NHG)
Indus Sutrure Zone (ISZ)
(UHP Metamorphism)
Gangdese Batholith (GB)
Indian Crystalline Basem ent

MFT- Main Frontal Thrust


MBT- Main Boundary Thrust
MCT- Main Central Thrust
STDS- South Tibetan
Detachment System
MHT- Main Himalayan Thrust

Deep Resistivity Imaging of Collision Zone

Comparison of Geo-electric sections across ITSZ


in MW Himalaya and Tibet

(a)
1 00 li ne 7 00 li ne

( b)
Location Map of Indepth
MT profiles

700 line

( c)

100 line

(a) Resistivity model of LMT prof ile in NW H imalaya


(b) Resistivity model of Line 70 0
(c) Resistivity Model of Line 100

Climate controlled focused erosion of extruded material in HHC


CHANNEL FLOW

10

Source of Sedime nts to the Foreland basin


E rosion of rocks of complex
H imalay an lithologies deposited
in the foreland basin can be
characterized using isotopes:
Different rock ty pes of the H imalaya
hav e distinct isotopic (S r, N d)
compositions because of their different
ages and various processes involved in
their origin

Siw alik:
alik : Classical example of the Foreland basins formed due to flexure in
underthrusting Plate that provide repository zone for shedding detritus
detritus
from the rising Himalaya
(B)
Tectonic
uplift
increases the catchment
area and the basin floor
rebounds
owing
to
isoststic readjustment.
The axial river migrates
away from the basin
margin.
Foreland basins ar e commonly filled b y axial and tran sverse drainages
from the uplifted source r egion (hinterland) of the Him alaya

( A) Due to tectonic
uplifted and enhanced
transverse drainage and
sediment
loading
in
frontal basin, the basin
floor subsides and the
axial
river
migrates
towards
the
basin
margin.

11

Grey

t sa
s h ee

b
on e
nds t

ody

d
Mu

G rey s

B uf
f r ib

he et s
andsto

s to n

es

ne body

Mud
st on
es

bon

san

dst

one

bod
y

Litholog of a Siwalik su ccession sho wing


alternation of axial and tran sverse dr ainages
overlain b y thickly bedd ed conglom erate.
Age of the altern ate axial river and the
transverse river d eposits are calculated based
on Net Sedim ent Accumulation Rate.

Conglomerates
Grey channel sand
Buff channel sand
Mudstones

Buff, ribbon sandstone encased


in the thickly bedded mudstone
deposited by Transverse
piedmont river
Fossil find
Grey, multistorey sheet sandstone
deposited by Axial river

12

Role of Himalaya Uplift in Monsoon initiation and intensity

Markers
Sediment Channel Geometr y
Hydrod yn amics-Sediment-W ater Ratio
C & O Isotope studies on p alaeosols
Dominance of C4 Glassland
Rock magn etic r atios
Goetite/Hematite Ratio> Humid

Challenging Issues
The most challenging problem of the Himalaya is the development of
geodynamic model of the orogenic belt that can not only explain
the archetype (structural configuration) of the collision tectonics
but can
trace the metamorphic history,
constrain processes controlling high rate of erosion and exhumation,
extent and nature of crustal shortening,
kinematics of the crustal deformation,
effects of superposed deformation
as well as can provide clues to
the space-time distribution of seismicity

13

Research Plan for International Year of Planet Earth


 To undertake multi-disciplinar y studies along the extended tr ansect (HIMPROBE
Transect) in NW Himalaya such that one single tr ansect cuts across the entire
Himalayan orogen from the Main Frontal Thrust to the Indus Suture Zone.

HIMTRASECTS

 High resolution geophysical imaging of crustal structure by Magnetotelluric and Broadband


seismometrywill help test the relative merits of Thrust-Wedge and Channel flow models.
 Regional mapping and sampling for geochronology, thermochronology, and isotope
geochemistry will identify metamorphic/kinematic history related to the evolution of the
Himalaya as well provide constraint on the thermal and temporal constraint on regional uplift
and exhumation.
 The extended profile encompassing the Siwalik will help to trace the effects of post collision
superposed deformation in shaping the oblique ramp
 Why now? Because all the essential facilities/expertise are available under one roof.

Integrated geotransect in the


Eastern Himalayan Syntaxis
largely remained unexplored and
where the proposed mechanism
of
perpendicular
continentcollision applicable along the
Himalayan arc may not hold good
because of the proposed oblique
subduction in the NE Himalaya.

14

Magnetotelluric and Broadband S eismometry Investigations


along the Lohit Valle y, NE Himalayan Syntaxis

BBS Sites
MT locations

THRUST ACTIVITIES DURING IYPE


Himtransacts
Real Time Geology for Society:
Coping with Natural Hazards
Tectonics - Climate Interactions
Biostratigraphy Environment
Linkage
Sustaining Natural Resources

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As rising Sun ignites the Mt. EVEREST

IYPE would revolutionise Earth Science Research in Himalaya

Mt. Everest

Thanking you all

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