Imaging lithospheric structure of the eastern Himalayan syntaxis: New insights from receiver function analysis

Authors

  • Qiang Xu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Continental Collision and Plateau Uplift, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    2. State Key Laboratory of Geological Processes and Mineral Resources, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China
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  • Junmeng Zhao,

    1. Key Laboratory of Continental Collision and Plateau Uplift, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Shunping Pei,

    1. Key Laboratory of Continental Collision and Plateau Uplift, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Hongbing Liu

    1. Key Laboratory of Continental Collision and Plateau Uplift, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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Corresponding author: Q. Xu, Key Laboratory of Continental Collision and Plateau Uplift, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China. (xuqiang@itpcas.ac.cn)

Abstract

[1] We employ the P and S receiver function technique to data from the 44 seismic stations deployed in the eastern Himalayan syntaxis to investigate the crustal thickness, the average Poisson's ratio, and the depth of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB). The observed crustal thickness exhibits an overall NE-deepening trend, varying from 55 to 75 km. Two anomalous areas lie in the west and east of the Namche Barwa syntaxis characterized by thinner and thicker crust, respectively. The average Poisson's ratios within the study area are low in the north and moderate elsewhere with some high values in the south, consistent with felsic and intermediate rocks forming the crust. Our migrated images reveal that (1) the LAB of the Tibetan plate exists at relatively shallow depths (~110 km) and exhibits a gap beneath the Namche Barwa syntaxis, which may have formed by the delamination of mantle lithosphere due to local mantle upwelling, and (2) the LAB of the Asian plate is observed at a depth of ~180 km, which implies that the Asian plate has advanced southward to about 30°N under the Lhasa terrane. Our results provide new insights into the understanding of continental subduction and lithospheric deformation of the eastern Himalayan syntaxis.

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