Southward extrusion of Tibetan crust and its effect on Himalayan tectonics

Kip Hodges, J. M. Hurtado, Kelin Whipple

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

202 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Tibetan Plateau is a storehouse of excess gravitational potential energy accumulated through crustal thickening during India-Asia collision, and the contrast in potential energy between the Plateau and its surroundings strongly influences the modern tectonics of south Asia. The distribution of potential energy anomalies across the region, derived from geopotential models, indicates that the Himalayan front is the optimal location for focused dissipation of excess energy stored in the Plateau. The modern pattern of deformation and erosion in the Himalaya provides an efficient mechanism for such dissipation, and a review of the Neogene geological evolution of southern Tibet and the Himalaya shows that this mechanism has been operational for at least the past 20 million years. This persistence of deformational and erosional style suggests to us that orogens, like other complex systems, can evolve toward "steady state" configurations maintained by the continuous flow of energy. The capacity of orogenic systems to self-organize into temporally persistent structural and erosional patterns suggests that the tectonic history of a mountain range may depend on local energetics as much as it does on far-field plate interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-809
Number of pages11
JournalTectonics
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Tectonics
Potential energy
potential energy
extrusion
Extrusion
tectonics
plateaus
crusts
plateau
crust
dissipation
geopotential
Tibet
crustal thickening
complex systems
India
mountains
gravitational fields
erosion
Neogene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Southward extrusion of Tibetan crust and its effect on Himalayan tectonics. / Hodges, Kip; Hurtado, J. M.; Whipple, Kelin.

In: Tectonics, Vol. 20, No. 6, 2001, p. 799-809.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{1340299aecef4606b7b048ecb5406072,
title = "Southward extrusion of Tibetan crust and its effect on Himalayan tectonics",
abstract = "The Tibetan Plateau is a storehouse of excess gravitational potential energy accumulated through crustal thickening during India-Asia collision, and the contrast in potential energy between the Plateau and its surroundings strongly influences the modern tectonics of south Asia. The distribution of potential energy anomalies across the region, derived from geopotential models, indicates that the Himalayan front is the optimal location for focused dissipation of excess energy stored in the Plateau. The modern pattern of deformation and erosion in the Himalaya provides an efficient mechanism for such dissipation, and a review of the Neogene geological evolution of southern Tibet and the Himalaya shows that this mechanism has been operational for at least the past 20 million years. This persistence of deformational and erosional style suggests to us that orogens, like other complex systems, can evolve toward {"}steady state{"} configurations maintained by the continuous flow of energy. The capacity of orogenic systems to self-organize into temporally persistent structural and erosional patterns suggests that the tectonic history of a mountain range may depend on local energetics as much as it does on far-field plate interactions.",
author = "Kip Hodges and Hurtado, {J. M.} and Kelin Whipple",
year = "2001",
doi = "10.1029/2001TC001281",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "20",
pages = "799--809",
journal = "Tectonics",
issn = "0278-7407",
publisher = "American Geophysical Union",
number = "6",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Southward extrusion of Tibetan crust and its effect on Himalayan tectonics

AU - Hodges, Kip

AU - Hurtado, J. M.

AU - Whipple, Kelin

PY - 2001

Y1 - 2001

N2 - The Tibetan Plateau is a storehouse of excess gravitational potential energy accumulated through crustal thickening during India-Asia collision, and the contrast in potential energy between the Plateau and its surroundings strongly influences the modern tectonics of south Asia. The distribution of potential energy anomalies across the region, derived from geopotential models, indicates that the Himalayan front is the optimal location for focused dissipation of excess energy stored in the Plateau. The modern pattern of deformation and erosion in the Himalaya provides an efficient mechanism for such dissipation, and a review of the Neogene geological evolution of southern Tibet and the Himalaya shows that this mechanism has been operational for at least the past 20 million years. This persistence of deformational and erosional style suggests to us that orogens, like other complex systems, can evolve toward "steady state" configurations maintained by the continuous flow of energy. The capacity of orogenic systems to self-organize into temporally persistent structural and erosional patterns suggests that the tectonic history of a mountain range may depend on local energetics as much as it does on far-field plate interactions.

AB - The Tibetan Plateau is a storehouse of excess gravitational potential energy accumulated through crustal thickening during India-Asia collision, and the contrast in potential energy between the Plateau and its surroundings strongly influences the modern tectonics of south Asia. The distribution of potential energy anomalies across the region, derived from geopotential models, indicates that the Himalayan front is the optimal location for focused dissipation of excess energy stored in the Plateau. The modern pattern of deformation and erosion in the Himalaya provides an efficient mechanism for such dissipation, and a review of the Neogene geological evolution of southern Tibet and the Himalaya shows that this mechanism has been operational for at least the past 20 million years. This persistence of deformational and erosional style suggests to us that orogens, like other complex systems, can evolve toward "steady state" configurations maintained by the continuous flow of energy. The capacity of orogenic systems to self-organize into temporally persistent structural and erosional patterns suggests that the tectonic history of a mountain range may depend on local energetics as much as it does on far-field plate interactions.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0035690366&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0035690366&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1029/2001TC001281

DO - 10.1029/2001TC001281

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0035690366

VL - 20

SP - 799

EP - 809

JO - Tectonics

JF - Tectonics

SN - 0278-7407

IS - 6

ER -