Structural and thermal evolution of the South Tibetan Detachment shear zone in the Mt Everest region, from the 1933 sample collection of L. R. Wager

Published on 2018-07-09T09:44:05Z (GMT) by
Microstructural and petrological data from >60 samples, collected by L. R. Wager in 1933, have been used alongside existing data to investigate temperature gradients and deformational style in four profiles across the South Tibetan Detachment shear zone, over a north–south distance of 35 km in the Mt Everest area, east-central Himalaya. The ductile shear zone, defined on petrographic criteria, extends for <i>c</i>. 900 m beneath the brittle Qomolangma Detachment (QD). New thermobarometry from the north flank of Mt Everest reveals a gradient from 440°C at the QD down to samples recording peak conditions around 650°C, 5.5 kbar. The upper limit of leucogranite sheets forms an approximately isothermal surface at 600–650°C within the developing shear zone. The recrystallized grain size of quartz shows a systematic increase down-section in four transects. Profiles of deformation temperature reveal gradients of up to 200°C km<sup>-1</sup> whose formation and preservation required a combination of processes: a shear zone active for a short period (≤18–15.5 Ma) at high strain rates, with a component of vertical shortening, and a contribution of latent heat from emplacement of sheeted granites. The likely horizontal displacement was >40 km, with up to 10 km of vertical exhumation.

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Waters, David J.; D. Law, Richard; P. Searle, Michael; Jessup, Micah J. (2018): Structural and thermal evolution of the South Tibetan Detachment shear zone in the Mt Everest region, from the 1933 sample collection of L. R. Wager. Geological Society of London. Collection.