This award supports US-India Cooperative Research: Investigation of Activity along the Himalayan Main Central Thrust- Present Geomorphology and Past Slip, Garhwal, NW India. US PI Elizabeth Catlos of Oklahoma State University (OSU) and Indian collaborator Chandra Dubey of the University of Delhi will study mass movements within the Himalayan Main Central Thrust (MCT) shear zone and profiles of major rivers that cross the zone to gain understanding of the mechanisms involved during continental collision. The goal is to use a combined geochemical, structural, and geomorphologic approach to test the hypothesis that the MCT shear zone accommodated slip and has sustained seismic activity since the Miocene. They will also investigate the temporal and spatial distribution of mass movement within the MCT shear zone in NW India. The Himalayas are an ideal natural laboratory for studying continental convergence and this research will have broader significance and implications for most other mountain belts.
Scope: The US PI is a first-time NSF awardee and new Ph.D. of considerable promise. The collaboration is career launching and will provide a framework for future interdisciplinary studies. The international collaboration, which pairs the field expertise of the Indian team with the analytical capabilities of the US team, will enhance this research and offer mutual benefits. For the Indian side, Dubey and his graduate student will be trained in electron and ion microprobe analysis in the U.S. OSU students will gain an international perspective through Dubey's participation in the OSU School of Geology Seminar Series. The PIs will present their findings to the Geological Society of America, Nov. 2003. This project is cofunded by the Indian Department of Science & Technology (DST) under the NSF/DST joint program.