Stress regime changes in the Main Boundary Thrust zone, Eastern Himalaya, decoded from fault-slip analysis

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Structural Geology


The Main Boundary Thrust (MBT) Zone in the Darjeeling foothills, Eastern Himalaya exhibits northerly dipping fault splays, named here as MBT-1 and MBT-2, with Proterozoic Daling Group in the MBT-1 hanging wall, Upper Paleozoic Gondwana rocks between the MBT-1 and the MBT-2, and Neogene Siwalik Group in the footwall of the MBT-2. On the basis of reduced stress tensors from fault-slip analysis and their grouping relative to different stratigraphic units in the MBT zone that crops out over a strike length of ∼20 km, the following successive stress regimes have been interpreted. The earliest brittle deformation recorded only in the basal part of the Gondwana succession was controlled by a pre-Himalayan NW-SE extensional regime. The Himalayan deformation under sustained N-S compressive regime developed in three stages: (a) thrust displacement along the MBT-1, juxtaposing folded Daling rocks against the Lower Gondwana rocks; (b) tilting and fracturing of Lower Gondwana succession and thrust transport over the Siwalik rocks along the MBT-2; (c) strike-slip regime with NW- and NE-trending faults affecting both the Lower Gondwana and Siwalik strata, developed possibly due to increased tectonic loading. The tensor solutions under N-S compressional regime are consistent with the modern plate convergence, supporting a foreland propagating thrust system in the Eastern Himalaya. In addition, an E-W extensional regime led to apparent orogen-parallel extension.

First Page


Last Page




Publication Date


This document is currently not available here.