Asymmetric exhumation of the Mount Everest region: Implications for the tectono-topographic evolution of the Himalaya


Carrapa, B.
Robert, X.
DeCelles, P.G.
Orme, D.A.
Thomson, S.N.; and Schoenbohm, L.M.

The tectonic and topographic history of the Himalaya-Tibet orogenic system remains controversial, with several competing models that predict different exhumation histories. Here, we present new  low-temperature thermochronological data from the Mount Everest region, which, combined with thermal-kinematic landscape evolution modeling, indicate asymmetric exhumation of Mount Everest consistent with a scenario in which the southern edge of the Tibetan Plateau was located >100 km farther south during the mid-Miocene. Northward plateau retreat was caused by erosional incision during the Pliocene. Our results suggest that the South Tibetan Detachment was a localized structure and that no coupling between precipitation and erosion is required for Miocene exhumation of Greater Himalayan Sequence rocks on Mount Everest.

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Figure 1. A: Simplified digital elevation model of Asia and geological map of central Himalaya and southern Tibet, modified from Yin (2006); inset shows broader geographic context.

Publication Listing

GEOLOGY, August 2016; v. 44; no. 8; p. 1–4 | Data Repository item 2016198 | doi:10.1130/G37756.1