Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Abstract (EDOC: 17714)
We have undertaken structural, geomorphological, and morphometric analyses to investigate the role of tectonism and climate in the landscape evolution in the upper Spiti valley, NW Himalayas. Geomorphometric analyses coupled with field investigations reveal active tectonic deformation in the Spiti region. The calculated geomorphic indices (steepness, concavity and Hack) demonstrate uplift/subsidence along the Kaurik-Chango fault, whereas transverse topographic index (T- index) reveals basin tilting associated with active faulting near Hansa and Lingti valley. Investigation of well-dated Mane palaeo-lake sediments also provides evidence of regional tectonic instability. Four episodes (ca. 7.8, 7.4, 6.5 and 6.1 cal ka) of neotectonic activity have been identified during the period of the lake's existence. We have also compiled data on the regional climate variability and compared it with the age of the Mane palaeo-landslide. Our results indicate that the landslide occurred towards the end of the early Holocene intensified monsoon phase and is located near an active fault. Our data on regional tectonic instability and the coincidences of modern and palaeo-landslides with zones of active deformation suggest that tectonism is an important factor governing landscape stability in the Spiti region.
(2012): Tectonic versus climate influence on landscape evolution: a case study from the upper Spiti valley, NW Himalaya. Geomorphology, 145-146, 32-44.