loading page

Slab tearing and delamination of the Indian lithospheric mantle during flat-slab subduction, southeast Tibet
  • +1
  • Lin Liu,
  • Danian Shi,
  • Simon L Klemperer,
  • Jianyu Shi
Lin Liu
Danian Shi
Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences
Simon L Klemperer
Department of Geophysics, Stanford University
Jianyu Shi
National Marine Environmental Forecasting Center


The first-order configuration of the Himalayan orogen is defined by the northward motion of the Indian Plate, whether directly "underplating" under the Tibetan crust or "subducting" beneath a mantle wedge. Our 3D S-wave receiver-functions newly reveal orogen-perpendicular tearing or warping of the Indian Plate. West of 90°E, the southern limit of the Tibetan lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary is at the Indian crustal front, ~100-km north of the Yarlung-Zangbo suture, implying an underplating of the intact Indian lithosphere beneath Tibet. Further east, the delaminated Indian lithospheric mantle during its gravitationally-induced rollback is separated from the Indian crust by an interposed asthenospheric wedge. The nascent Tibetan lithosphere and its subjacent thin asthenosphere continue ~100 km south of the Yarlung-Zangbo suture. This contrast in lithospheric structures across the Yadong-Gulu and Cona-Sangri rifts at 90-92°E, in 2 agreement with helium isotopic anomalies and deep seismicity, requires the subducting Indian Plate be warped or torn.
09 Nov 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
14 Nov 2023Published in ESS Open Archive