An Yin

An Yin
University of California · Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences

PhD

About

149
Publications
51,673
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16,817
Citations
Citations since 2017
26 Research Items
8214 Citations
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400
201720182019202020212022202302004006008001,0001,2001,400

Publications

Publications (149)
Article
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Deformation-resistant cratons comprise >60% of the continental landmass on Earth. Because they were formed mostly in the Archean to Mesoproterozoic, it remains unclear if cratonization was a process unique to early Earth. We address this question by presenting an integrated geological-geophysical data set from the Tarim region of central Asia. This...
Article
Full-text available
Deformation-resistant cratons comprise >60% of the continental landmass on Earth. Because they were formed mostly in the Archean to Mesoproterozoic, it remains unclear if cratonization was a process unique to early Earth. We address this question by presenting an integrated geological-geophysical data set from the Tarim region of central Asia. This...
Article
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High-pressure metamorphic rocks occur as distinct belts along subduction zones and collisional orogens or as isolated blocks within orogens or mélanges and represent continental materials that were subducted to deep depths and subsequently exhumed to the shallow crust. Understanding the burial and exhumation processes and the sizes and shapes of th...
Article
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The Beishan orogen is part of the Neoproterozoic to early Mesozoic Central Asian Orogenic System in central Asia that exposes ophiolitic complexes, passive-margin strata, arc assemblages, and Precambrian basement rocks. To better constrain the tectonic evolution of the Beishan orogen, we conducted field mapping, U-Pb zircon dating, whole-rock geoch...
Article
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Chaos terrain, expressed as enigmatic blocky landscapes on Mars, has poorly understood origins. Several hypotheses have been put forward to explain chaos terrain formation, but none fully account for the morphologies observed in Galilaei crater, the focus of this study. Previously inferred to be a paleolake, Galilaei crater hosts chaos terrain comp...
Article
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The Longshou Shan of western China is the northern backstop of the Cenozoic Himalayan-Tibetan orogen and occupies a key linkage between the Tarim continent and North China craton which separate the pre-Cenozoic Tethyan orogenic system and Central Asian orogenic system. Therefore, the Paleoproterozoic–Paleozoic evolution of this region is critical t...
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Although the Cenozoic Indo-Asian collision is largely responsible for the formation of the Tibetan plateau, the role of pre-Cenozoic structures in controlling the timing and development of Cenozoic deformation remains poorly understood. In this study we address this problem by conducting an integrated investigation in the northern foreland of the T...
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Fault-fractured pore space is complex and difficult to predict and evaluate. For a single independent ramp-flat fault-bend fold structure, the pure void space between two fault walls equals the integrated fracture pore spaces within the fault damage zone if it were concentrated on the fault plane. Using an area balancing technique and geometrical r...
Article
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The Proterozoic‐Phanerozoic evolution of the Tarim and North China cratons is integral to the construction of the Eurasian continent. Throughout the Paleozoic, these continents were bound by the Paleo‐Asian and Tethyan Oceans to the north and south, respectively, and thus their paleogeography is critical to reconstructions of the oceanic domains. S...
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The growth history and formation mechanisms of the Cenozoic Tibetan Plateau are the subject of an intense debate with important implications for understanding the kinematics and dynamics of large-scale intracontinental deformation. Better constraints on the uplift and deformation history across the northern plateau are necessary to address how the...
Article
In this study we address the question of whether the Tharsis rise on Mars was once covered by an ice cap, and the ice melting was responsible for the development of the Late Hesperian (3.6-3.5 Ga) circum-Tharsis giant (>1000s km in length) outflow channels. To achieve this goal we conducted geomorphologic mapping across Oudemans crater and its boun...
Article
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The ~1500-km-long, north-trending Eastern Flanking Belt of the Himalayan-Tibetan orogenic system is located along the eastern margin of the Indian subcontinent. Although the belt is a key element of the Cenozoic India-Asia collisional zone, its tectonic evolution remains poorly understood. This lack of knowledge has impacted our ability to differen...
Article
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Tectonic deformation can influence spatiotemporal patterns of erosion by changing both base level and the mechanical state of bedrock. Although base-level change and the resulting erosion are well understood, the impact of tectonic damage on bedrock erodibility has rarely been quantified. Eastern Tibet, a tectonically active region with diverse lit...
Conference Paper
The assemblage and post-assemblage tectonic modification of the Eurasian continent occurred from the Proterozoic to the Cenozoic over a time span of nearly one billion years. The Proterozoic-Phanerozoic evolution of the Tarim and North China cratons is integral to the construction of the Eurasian continent. Throughout the Paleozoic, these continent...
Conference Paper
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The geometric and age relationships of rock units and structures of the easternmost Himalaya located near the eastern syntaxis remain inadequately understood, despite being important to understanding the evolution of the entire orogen. In this study, we present the preliminary results of detailed field mapping and detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology...
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The present-day Tibetan plateau, which is the largest highland on Earth, formed primarily due to the India-Asia collision since 50–60 Ma. The development of the plateau has been associated with the Cenozoic development of two large intra-plateau sedimentary basins in north-central Tibet: the Qaidam and Hoh Xil basins to the north and south of the E...
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The Cenozoic India-Asia collision generated both the east-trending Himalayan orogen and the north-trending Eastern and Western Flanking Belts located along the margins of the Indian subcontinent. Although the tectonic development of both flanking belts is key to understanding mechanisms of continental deformation during indenter-induced collision,...
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The Qilian Shan, located along the northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, has experienced multiple episodes of tectonic deformation, including Neoproterozoic continental breakup, early Paleozoic subduction and continental collision, Mesozoic extension, and Cenozoic intracontinental orogenesis resulting from the India-Asia collision. In the cen...
Article
Pre-existing weakness due to repeated tectonic, metamorphic, and magmatic events is a fundamental feature of the continental lithosphere on Earth. Because of this, continental deformation results from a combined effect of boundary conditions imposed by plate tectonic processes and heterogeneous and anisotropic mechanical strength inherited from pro...
Article
Whether continental deformation is accommodated by microplate motion or continuum flow is a central issue regarding the nature of Cenozoic deformation surrounding the eastern Himalayan syntaxis. The microplate model predicts southeastward extrusion of rigid blocks along widely-spaced strike-slip faults, whereas the crustal-flow model requires clock...
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The Phanerozoic history of the Paleo-Asian, Tethyan, and Pacific oceanic domains is important for unraveling the tectonic evolution of the Eurasian and Laurentian continents. The validity of existing models that account for the development and closure of the Paleo-Asian and Tethyan Oceans critically depends on the assumed initial configuration and...
Article
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Our understanding of the assembly history of Asia depends critically on the tectonic relationships between its major cratons, including Siberia, North China, South China, and Tarim. The intervening microcontinents between these cratons can provide insight into the paleogeographic and paleotectonic relationships of the cratons, but there is currentl...
Article
Parallel and evenly-spaced active strike-slip faults occur widely in nature across diverse tectonic settings. Despite their common existence, the fundamental question of what controls fault spacing remains unanswered. Here we present a mechanical model for the generation of parallel strike-slip faults that relates fault spacing to the following par...
Article
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In order to better constrain the evolution of the Tethyan orogenic system, we conducted an integrated investigation involving U-Pb dating of igneous and detrital zircon, geochemical analysis of igneous rocks, compositional analysis of sedimentary strata, and a synthesis of existing work across the Qilian Shan, Qaidam Basin, and the Eastern Kunlun R...
Conference Paper
Parallel and evenly spaced strike-slip faults occur widely in continental settings. The fault spacing varies from 10s of km along transform fault systems (e.g., southern California and New Zealand) to 200-400 km in continental interiors (e.g., central Tibet, central Asia, and North China plains). In order to understand the role of the brittle crust...
Conference Paper
Existing work on the basement evolution of the Qilian Shan-Nan Shan region of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau has severe limitations because of the lack of systematic geologic mapping. Geochronology studies must be put in the context of Cenozoic strain that has accumulated across this region. The aim of this study was to first establish the struct...
Conference Paper
The validity of all existing tectonic models for the onset and evolution of the Central Asian Orogenic System (CAOS) critically depends on the assumed initial configuration and relative positions of the Precambrian cratons that surround the orogen. We address this issue by evaluating the tectonic relationships among the bounding cratons rather than...
Conference Paper
It has been long recognized that the most dominant features on the northern Tibetan Plateau are the >1000 km left-slip strike-slip faults (e.g., the Atyn Tagh, Kunlun, and Haiyuan faults). Early workers used the presence of these faults, especially the Kunlun and Haiyuan faults, as evidence for eastward lateral extrusion of the plateau, but their l...
Data
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We conducted deep seismic-refl ection surveying across the Jurassic Daba Shan thrust belt of central China to investigate how and why the continued convergence between north and south China lasted ~50 m.y. after the Triassic closure of their intervening oceans. Our study, together with surface geology, gravity surveying, and magnetic observations,...
Article
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The 350 km wide and 1300 km long Cenozoic Qilian Shan-Nan Shan thrust belt (QNS) is the widest thrust belt on the Tibetan Plateau (Fig. 1). Located along the northeastern margin of the plateau, the style and magnitude of deformation in the QNS have important implications for how Cenozoic shortening induced by the Indo-Asia collision is accommodated...
Article
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We conducted deep seismic-reflection surveying across the Jurassic Daba Shan thrust belt of central China to investigate how and why the continued convergence between north and south China lasted similar to 50 m.y. after the Triassic closure of their intervening oceans. Our study, together with surface geology, gravity surveying, and magnetic obser...
Article
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Models for the origin and deformation of Himalayan rocks are dependent upon geometric and age relationships between major units. We present field mapping and U-Pb dating of igneous and detrital zircons that establish the lithostratigraphic architecture of the eastern Himalaya, revealing that: (1) the South Tibet detachment along the Bhutan-China bo...
Article
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A new tectonic model is proposed for the origin of the Tharsis rise on Mars, which occupies ~25% of the planet. The model invokes initiation of plate subduction by a large impact during the Late Heavy Bombardment at ca. 4.0 Ga. The model explains migration of Tharsis volcanism by slab rollback and the lack of magnetized crust in the bulk of Tharsis...
Article
New field mapping reveals a large Cenozoic thrust system in the Tanggula Range and Tuotuohe region, central Tibet. The thrust system is parallel to the Tanggula Range, and it is termed the Tanggula thrust system (TTS). Three thrust belts can be identified in this thrust system. From south to north, they are the Geraddong-Esuima thrust belt (GEB), t...
Article
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We conducted coupled U-Pb dating and Hf isotope analysis of detrital zircon in modern sand of the Yalu River in southern Tibet. Our work indicates that the presence or absence of distinctive zircon populations in the Yalu main stream depends critically on the geo- metric confi guration of the tributary rivers. The proportion of upper-stream zircon...
Article
Despite four decades of research, the origin of Valles Marineris on Mars, the longest trough system in the solar system, remains uncertain. Its formation mechanism has been variably related to rifting, strike-slip faulting, and subsurface mass removal. This study focuses on the structural geology of Ius and Coprates Chasmata in southern Valles Mari...
Article
The linkage between tectonic forces and climate evolution remains a matter of much debate and speculation. Here we present high-resolution oxygen and carbon isotope data from an ancient lake basin in the central Himalaya. These data, together with sedimentologic evidence, reveal major changes in drainage systems and depositional settings at ∼7.2, ∼...
Article
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This special issue was initiated following the 1st ‘‘Asian Climate and Tectonics’’ conference hosted in the Netherlands from April 26 to April 29 2010 as part of the Utrecht-Asia seminar series funded by Utrecht University. This seminar is presented on a short documentary: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jY-pS9l80E Or www.geo.uu.nl/~forth/people/Guillaume...
Article
Detrital zircon data have recently become available from many different portions of the Tibetan-Himalayan orogen. This study uses 13,441 new or existing U-Pb ages of zircon crystals from strata in the Lesser Himalayan, Greater Himalayan, and Tethyan sequences in the Himalaya, the Lhasa, Qiangtang, and Nan Shan-Qilian Shan-Altun Shan terranes in Tib...
Article
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V-shaped conjugate strike-slip faults occur widely on Earth, Venus, and Mars in the solar system. They commonly lie at 60°-75° in map view from the maximum compressive stress (σ1) direction. This fault pattern cannot be explained directly by the Coulomb fracture criterion, which predicts the formation of X-shaped shear fractures at 30° from the σ1...
Article
A central debate for the evolution of the Himalayan orogen is how the Greater Himalayan Crystalline complex in its core was emplaced during the Cenozoic Indo-Asian collision. Addressing this problem requires knowledge of the structural relationship between the South Tibet detachment fault (STD) and the Main Central thrust (MCT) that bound these roc...
Article
Understanding why continental deformation departs from the theory of plate tectonics requires a detailed knowledge of three-dimensional structures at a lithospheric scale. In Tibet, the end-member models of continental deformation make distinctively different predictions on strain distribution and contrasting structural geometry as a function of de...
Article
Understanding the mechanical controls on reactivation of preexisting weakness is a fundamental problem in tectonic studies. In this study, we develop a theoretical framework for evaluating the likelihood of seismicity on active faults and the sequence of reactivation of multiple sets of preexisting weakness. Our analysis overcomes the restrictions...
Article
Several Cenozoic sedimentary basins are present along the central segment of the Cenozoic Altyn Tagh fault (ATF) that marks the northern boundary of the Tibetan Plateau. Field investigations reveal that basin sedimentation and subsequent deformation are controlled by left-slip motion along the Cenozoic ATF. In order to better understand the tempora...
Article
The origin of the Late Cretaceous-Early Tertiary Uinta uplift created during the Laramide orogeny has long been problematic, because the structure is E-trending nearly parallel to the ENE-WSW direction of regional shortening. Early workers have proposed that the Uinta uplift is bounded by a large pop-up thrust system, which suggests that uplift was...
Article
Asia has been a major testing ground for various competing models of continental deformation due to its relatively well-understood plate boundary conditions in the Cenozoic, exceptional exposure of active structures, and strain distribution, and widespread syn-collisional igneous activity as a proxy for the thermal state of the mantle and crust. Tw...
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Despite being the largest active collisional orogen on Earth, the growth mechanism of the Himalaya remains uncertain. Current debate has focused on the role of dynamic inter action between tectonics and climate and mass exchanges between the Himalayan and Tibetan crust during Cenozoic India-Asia collision. A major uncertainty in the debate comes fr...
Article
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The Himalayan orogen has experienced intense Cenozoic deformation and widespread metamorphism, making it diffi cult to track its initial architecture and the subsequent deformation path during the Cenozoic India-Asia collision. To address this issue, we conducted structural mapping and U-Pb zircon geochronology across the Shillong Plateau, Mikir Hi...
Article
Himalayan tectonic models have been largely based on the geology of the central Himalaya, a region featuring three units separated by two sub-parallel faults. A common element of all models has been a ``pipe to the surface'' in cross-section view. That is, all models involve the emplacement of the Himalayan crystalline core from depth to the surfac...
Article
Temporal changes in drainage configurations are key expressions of dynamic landscape evolution resulting from tectonic deformation and erosion-induced denudation. In order to reconstruct the evolution of the Himalayan river systems during the India-Asia collision, we investigated provenance of modern river systems in southern Tibet by conducting co...
Article
Geometry of Himalayan drainage systems is a combined result of tectonic development, climate condition, and evolving distribution of rock lithology related to tectonics and climate. Systematic examination of the modern Himalayan rivers reveals the following characteristics. (1) South-flowing transverse rivers flowing across the Neogene-Quaternary s...
Article
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The process of mountain building is a product of the complex interplay between tectonic uplift and denudation. Thus, to understand how the Himalaya has developed, one needs to quantify each of the two processes. GPS studies indicate that the Himalayan shortening rate increases eastward. Neotectonic studies across the Himalaya suggest that active Hi...
Article
The Central Asian Orogenic System (CAOS) is one of the largest accretionary orogens in Earth's history and contains a significant volume of juvenile material which was added to the crust from the Neoproterozoic into the early Mesozoic. Despite its importance in understanding how Earth's continental crust has evolved, the geologic history of the CAO...
Article
The presence of an supra-subduction zone ophiolite complex in close proximity to ultrahigh-pressure rocks in the North Qaidam of northern Tibet suggests a complex early Paleozoic collisional geometry. This newly described ophiolite complex is found in the hanging wall of a Paleozoic detachment considered to be the structure that emplaced the North...
Article
Our understanding of the geologic evolution of the Himalaya remains incomplete, particularly in regard to structural and geochronologic details of the Proterozoic-Paleozoic Lesser Himalayan Sequence. We conducted an integrated field mapping, geochronological study, and geochemical analysis of the Lesser Himalayan Sequence strata in the Kumaun and G...
Article
The 2500-km Altai Range is located in the central part of the Central Asia Orogenic System, a tectonic collage comprising oceanic and continental fragments that were assembled during the Paleozoic continental growth of Eurasia. We conducted fi eld mapping, 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology, metamorphic petrology, and Th/Pb ion-microprobe monazite dating i...
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In order to assess the spatial and temporal extent of sediment transport from the Gangdese batholith of Tibet to the eastern Himalayan Neogene foreland basin, we performed U-Pb and Lu-Hf analyses on eleven sandstone samples from three locations within the Arunachal and Sikkim Himalaya. We also analyzed detrital zircons from eight modern river sand...
Article
Many UHP terranes contain abundant felsic gneiss with volumetrically minor mafic and ultramafic blocks. The mafic rocks typically preserve the high-pressure assemblages, whereas felsic gneisses preserve low pressure mineral assemblages. In the absence coesite it can be difficult to confirm that felsic lithologies experienced high-pressure condition...
Article
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We have compiled the distribution of active faults and folds in the Himalayan-Tibetan orogen and its immediate surrounding regions into a web-based digital map. The main product of this study is a compilation of active structures that came from those documented in the literature and from our own interpretations based on satellite images and digital...
Article
The tectonic evolution of the Himalayan orogen is closely intertwined with the development of its major river systems. The Yalu-Brahmaputra River system is one of the most interesting, yet poorly understood of the Himalayan rivers. An important clue to unraveling the history of the Yalu-Brahmaputra River is given by the presence of extraregional se...
Article
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The Himalayan orogen consists of three major lithologic units that are separated by two major north-dipping faults: the Lesser Himalayan Sequence (LHS) below the Main Central Thrust (MCT), the Greater Himalayan Crystalline Complex (GHC) above the MCT, and the Tethyan Himalayan Sequence (THS) juxtaposed by the South Tibet Detachment fault (STD) over...
Article
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Formation of conjugate strike-slip faults is commonly explained by the Anderson fault theory, which predicts a X-shaped conjugate fault pattern with an intersection angle of ~30 degrees between the maximum compressive stress and the faults. However, major conjugate faults in Cenozoic collisional orogens, such as the eastern Alps, western Mongolia,...
Article
Understanding the development of the Central Asian Orogenic System (CAOS), which is the largest Phanerozoic accretionary orogen in the world, is critical to the determination of continental growth mechanisms and geological history of central Asia. A key to unraveling its geological history is to ascertain the origin and tectonic setting of the larg...
Article
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Central to determining the mechanism of Himalayan formation is the tectonic origin of the Greater Himalayan Crystalline Complex (GHC) and its relationships to the Lesser Himalayan Sequence (LHS), Tethyan Himalayan Sequence (THS), and Tibetan and Indian basement rocks. The GHC is hypothesized to be derived from Indian basement, Tibetan lower crust,...
Article
The Himalayan-Tibetan orogenic system is superposed on a vast area assembled throughout the Paleozoic and Mesozoic by collision of several discrete tectonic blocks. The Eastern Kunlun range in central Tibet coincides with the boundary between two of these tectonic terranes: the Songpan-Ganzi terrane to the south and the Eastern Kunlun-Qaidam block...
Article
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Understanding active mountain building can provide a guide to determine the processes responsible for the formation of older orogens. With regard to the Himalaya, early research efforts have mostly focused on Tertiary structures located within the mountain range such as the Main Central Thrust (MCT). Only minimal effort, all conducted in the wester...
Article
A geologic investigation integrating filed mapping, geochronology and geochemistry across the Eastern Himalaya at the longitude of 91-93E has led to the following findings and interpretations. (1) The Triassic flysch complex in the North Indian Sequence (also known as the Tethyan Himalayan Sequence) was sourced from the Lhasa terrane (not India!)....
Article
The Bodonch metamorphic complex in southwestern Mongolia is a steeply dipping assemblage of low to high grade metamorphic rocks exposed along a ~30 km stretch of the Bodonch River which has been variably regarded as either a microcontinental block, due to presence of gneissic foliation; a metamorphic core complex; or an accretionary complex in the...
Article
Qaidam basin is the largest topographic depression inside the Tibetan plateau. Regional seismic-reflection profiles reveal its first-order structure as a broad Cenozoic synclinorium, with amplitude decreasing from greater than 16 km in the west to less than 4 km in the east. The synclinorium has expanded progressively eastward across the Qaidam reg...
Article
Models for the development of the Himalayan orogen have focused on cross-sectional reconstructions based on the classic 3-layer division: the low-grade Lesser Himalayan Sequence (LHS) underthrust along the Main Central Thrust (MCT) beneath the high-grade Greater Himalayan Crystallines (GHC) and the low-grade Tethyan Himalayan Sequence (THS) overlie...