What controls the growth of the Himalayan foreland fold-and-thrust belt? John Hirschmiller et al. (corresponding author: Djordje Grujic), Department of Earth Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4J1, Canada; email@example.com. Posted online 10 January 2014, http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G35057.1.
Empirical evidence of the impact of surface processes on the structure and shape of the Himalayan foreland fold-and-thrust belt is provided. Along-strike changes in convergence, strain rates, wedge shape, and precipitation in the Sub-Himalaya of the Himalayan orogen have been identified. These observations distributed along the length of the Himalayan arc reveal two important characteristics: (1) a distinct west-to-east increase in contraction rate correlates with convergence rates between the Indian and Eurasian plates, and (2) an eastward decrease in belt width corresponds to an eastward increase in rainfall rates. Tectonic model predictions suggest an increase in convergence rate induces higher rates of material accretion; thus, the Himalayan fold-and-thrust belt should widen eastward. Conversely, higher annual rainfall amounts and specific stream power appear to favor a narrower belt. We suggest the Himalayan fold-and-thrust belt morphology is controlled primarily by erosion, in accordance with the critical
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