GPS measurements from the Ladakh Himalaya, India: Preliminary tests of plate-like or continuous deformation in Tibet

Jade, S. and Bhatt, B. and Bendick, R. and Gaur, V. and Molnar, P. and Anand, M. and Kumar, D. (2004) GPS measurements from the Ladakh Himalaya, India: Preliminary tests of plate-like or continuous deformation in Tibet. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 116 (11-12). pp. 1385-1391. DOI

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Observations of relative motion in a geodetic network in Ladakh, India, and across southern Tibet indicate slow shear on the Karakorum fault, rapid east-west extension across the whole of southern Tibet, and constant arc-normal convergence between India and southern Tibet along the Himalayan arc. Measurements of ten campaign-style and six permanent sites with global positioning system (GPS) precise geodesy provide these bounds on the style and rates of the large-scale deformation in the Tibet-Himalaya region. Divergence between sites at Leh, Ladakh, India, and Shiquanhe, western Tibet, as well as slow relative motion among sites within the Ladakh network, limit right-lateral slip parallel to the Karakorum fault to only 3.4 ± 5 mm/yr. This low rate concurs with a recent estimate of 3–4 mm/yr for Late Holocene time, but disagrees with the much higher rate of 30–35 mm/yr that has been used to argue for plate-like behavior of the Tibetan Plateau. Convergence between Ladakh and the Indian subcontinent at 18.8 ± 3 mm/yr at 224° ± 17° (1σ) differs little from estimates of convergence across the central segment of the Himalaya. Finally, lengthening of the baseline between Leh, Ladakh, and Lhasa (in southeastern Tibet) at 17.8 ± 1 mm/yr or between Leh and Bayi (farther to the southeast) at 18 ± 3 mm/yr, is consistent with an extrapolation of rates of east-west extension of the Tibetan Plateau based both on shorter GPS baselines (e.g., Lhasa-Simikot) and on diverging slip vectors of earthquakes in the Himalaya. We interpret these results to indicate that Tibet behaves more like a fl uid than like a plate

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: R Bendick with COMET, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0EZ, UK
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2005 AREP IA44A IA49 2005 P COMET
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Geological Society of America Bulletin
Volume: 116
Page Range: pp. 1385-1391
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2011 13:05
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:59

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