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Seismic Imaging of the Downwelling Indian Lithosphere Beneath Central Tibet

Science  30 May 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5624, pp. 1424-1427
DOI: 10.1126/science.1082777

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Abstract

A tomographic image of the upper mantle beneath central Tibet from INDEPTH data has revealed a subvertical high-velocity zone from ∼100- to ∼400-kilometers depth, located approximately south of the Bangong-Nujiang Suture. We interpret this zone to be downwelling Indian mantle lithosphere. This additional lithosphere would account for the total amount of shortening in the Himalayas and Tibet. A consequence of this downwelling would be a deficit of asthenosphere, which should be balanced by an upwelling counterflow, and thus could explain the presence of warm mantle beneath north-central Tibet.

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