9706502 Molnar Two competing hypotheses exist for the understanding the tectonics of the western Himalayan mountains. One holds that rocks underlying much of Tibet are being extruded to the east, especially along the Karakorum fault, to make room for the Indian crust being under thrust to the north. The other hypothesis maintains that this part of the crust is adjusting primarily by thickening, with only minor extrusion to the east. This proposal requests funds to support a study of the Karakorum fault in western Tibet that will determine its slip rate. A slip rate of about 30-35 mm/a would support a rapid slip rate, and hence support the extrusion model of these Tibetan rocks. A slower slip rate of about 10 mm/a would tend to support the crustal thickening model. The methods of study are rather well tested, and the project has a rather high likelihood of success.