Articles | Volume 10, issue 1
Solid Earth, 10, 357–361, 2019
Solid Earth, 10, 357–361, 2019

Peer-reviewed comment 27 Feb 2019

Peer-reviewed comment | 27 Feb 2019

Comment on “Channel flow, tectonic overpressure, and exhumation of high-pressure rocks in the Greater Himalayas” by Marques et al. (2018)

John P. Platt

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Cited articles

Beaumont, C., Jamieson, R. A., Nguyen, M. H., and Lee, B.: Himalayan tectonics explained by extrusion of a low-viscosity crustal channel coupled to focused surface denudation, Nature, 414, 738–742, 2001. 
Beaumont, C., Jamieson, R. A., Butler, J. P., and Warren, C. J.: Crustal structure: A key constraint on the mechanism of ultra-high-pressure rock exhumation, Earth Planet. Sc. Lett., 287, 116–129,, 2009. 
Behr, W. M. and Platt, J. P.: Brittle faults are weak, yet the ductile middle crust is strong: Implications for lithospheric mechanics, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 8067–8075,, 2014. 
Cloos, M.: Flow melanges: Numerical modeling and geologic constraints on their origin in the Franciscan subduction complex, California, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 93, 330–345, 1982. 
England, P. C. and Holland, T. J. B.: Archimedes and the Tauern eclogites – role of buoyancy in the preservation of exotic eclogite blocks, Earth Planet. Sc. Lett., 44, 287–294, 1979. 
Short summary
The channel flow model proposed by Marques et al (2018) for the Himalayas has a geometry that would not generate any excess pressure. The excess pressure calculated by the authors, based on a different and highly improbable geometry, is so high that the overlying rocks would not be able to contain it: they would bend or break in such a way as to relieve the pressure. The conclusions drawn by the authors are therefore unwarranted and misleading.