Articles | Volume 14, issue 11
Research article
01 Nov 2023
Research article |  | 01 Nov 2023

The role of continental lithospheric thermal structure in the evolution of orogenic systems: application to the Himalayan–Tibetan collision zone

Mengxue Liu, Dinghui Yang, and Rui Qi

Related subject area

Subject area: Tectonic plate interactions, magma genesis, and lithosphere deformation at all scales | Editorial team: Geodynamics and quantitative modelling | Discipline: Geodynamics
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Cited articles

Beaumont, C., Fullsack, P., and Hamilton, J.: Styles of crustal deformation in compressional orogens caused by subduction of the underlying lithosphere, Tectonophysics, 232, 119–132,, 1994. 
Burov, E. B.: Rheology and strength of the lithosphere, Mar. Petrol. Geol., 28, 1402–1443,, 2011. 
Chapman, D. S.: Thermal gradients in the continental crust, Geol. Soc. Lond. Spec. Publ., 24, 63–70,, 1986. 
Chen, L. and Gerya, T. V.: The role of lateral lithospheric strength heterogeneities in orogenic plateau growth: Insights from 3-D thermo-mechanical modeling, J. Geophys. Res.-Solid, 121, 3118–3138,, 2016. 
Short summary
The continuous subduction mainly occurs with a relatively cold overriding lithosphere (Tmoho ≤ 450 °C), while slab break-off dominates when the model has a relatively hot procontinental Moho temparature (Tmoho ≥ 500 °C). Hr is more prone to facilitating the deformation of the lithospheric upper part than altering the collision mode. The lithospheric thermal structure may have played a significant role in the development of Himalayan–Tibetan orogenic lateral heterogeneity.