The Tibetan side of the India–Eurasia collision

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Abstract

Results are reported from the 1980 joint French–Chinese field expedition in Tibet. The area covered was from the High Himalaya in the south, to the region of Nagqu 250 km north of Yangbajain. Ophiolites in the Zangbo valley represent remnants of the crust of an ocean basin which lay adjacent to the Gangdise granodiorite belt in the late Mesozoic. The ophiolites were thrust to the south onto the Cretaceous mélange and Triassic flysch but the age of this event is unclear. In the Tertiary, sediments of the Indian margin and the Xigaze basin were folded with steeply dipping cleavage, which indicates some north–south shortening of the crust. However, the Tertiary volcanic sequence on the Lhasa block and further north shows comparatively little folding and thrusting. In the Quaternary, deformation of Tibet was characterized by east–west extension.

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