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SINOPROBE in western Tibet: the Karakoram Fault

Karakoram fault graph

We have partnered with SinoProbe, the Chinese national scientific program led by CAGS (Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences) to study the lithosphere.  We are helping to design experiments and analyze and interpret the resultant near-vertical and wide-angle seismic profiles across the Karakoram Fault (and elsewhere in Tibet). In complementary geochemical studies we are working with CAGS and NGRI (National Geophysical Research Institute of India) to sample thermal springs for mantle-sourced helium (3He), and analyzing these samples at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories.  High 3He/3He ratios along the Karakoram fault demonstrate that this fault accesses Tibetan mantle and marks the 'mantle suture' in western Tibet.



2013  Klemperer, S.L., Kennedy, B.M., Sastry, S.R., Makovsky, Y., Harinarayana, T., and Leech, M.L.  Mantle fluids in the Karakoram fault: Helium isotope evidence,  Earth Planetary Science Letters, 366, 59-70, 10.1016/j.epsl.2013.01.013


2012    Kelly, C.L., Lu, Z., Klemperer, S.L., Gao, R., and Dong, S.  SinoProbe Seismic Reflection Imaging of an Upper-Crustal“Bright Spot” Beneath the Karakoram Fault, West Tibet. EOS Trans. AGU Abstract T22B-07 presented at 2012 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, CA.

2012    Lu, Z., Gao, R., and Klemperer, S.L.  Deep seismic reflection profiles discovering the deep structures beneath Karakorum Fault and western Indus-Yalu suture. EOS Trans. AGU Abstract T22B-06 presented at 2012 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, CA.


2010 Gao R., Lu, Z., Xiong, X., Zeng, L., Li, W., Deng, G., Klemperer, S.L., 2010, SINOPROBE deep seismic reflection profiling across the Bangong-Nujiang Suture, central Tibet, in Leech, M.L., et al., eds., online proceedings for the 25th Himalaya-Karakoram-Tibet Workshop, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.: U.S. Geological Survey, Open-File Report 2010-1099

2010  Leech, M.L., Klemperer, S.L., and Mooney, W.D., eds., 2010, Proceedings of the 25th Himalaya-Karakoram-Tibet Workshop: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1099.