Earth Sciences 

Tectonic collisional and post-collisional phases in the Himalayan chain
Principal investigator: Prof. Rodolfo Carosi - University of Pisa, Department of Earth Sciences.

Within the framework of this study, the sin and post-collisional tectonic evolution of the Himalayan chain will be reconstructed along representative structural sections located in Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim. The main objective of the research is to better understand the tectonic and structural evolution of the belt, mainly focused on the comprehension of exhumation mechanisms and modalities of the different metamorphic units and the geometry and kinematics of the main tectonic discontinuities (Main Central Thrust, South Tibetan Detachment System and localized shear zones in the core of the crystalline units).

To better define the role and meaning of the shear zones in the core of the higher Himalayan crystallines, probably extendable both west and east of lower Dolpo, a geological field study will be carried out in western and central Nepal. New geological observations will be performed, structural elements measured and more rock samples collected.  In particular, geological observations will be combined with an analysis of geological-structural cartography, a meso-structural analysis and an analysis of metamorphic rocks.  Structural, mineralogical, petrographic and geochronological analyses of the rocks collected in 2007 will also be completed.  The new geological data combined with the data acquired by the researchers during past expeditions will provide insight into the possible mechanisms of the building up and exhumation of the chain. 

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Contribution to the study of geological setting and continental collision process in northwest Himalaya and Karakorum
Principal investigator: Prof. Franco Rolfo - University of Torino, Department of Mineralogical and Petrologic Sciences.

The project aims to complete the already available geologic data in key areas of NW Himalaya and Karakorum, and to better describe the tectonometamorphic and magmatic evolution of basement units. Geologic, structural and petrographic data were collected in Shaksgam Valley, south Sinkiang (Xinjiang) in 2006, while selected rock samples have been studied in the laboratory in order to obtain petrographic, petrologic, geochemical and geochronological data. In order to complete the research another expedition in the south tributaries of Shaksgam Valley up to Sarpo Laggo glacier and Mustang Pass is necessary to collect metamorphic rocks for laboratory analysis.

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