In a series of geophysical experiment we study deep structures and geodynamic processes in the Tien Shan and Pamir collision zones, central Asia. The first batch of experiments with passive sources only includes a seismic array and a magnetotelluric (MT) survey. The seismic array will consist of 30 broadband stations located in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, along an approximately 300-400 km long profile with some additional stations for areal coverage. The MT data will be acquired along the same profile, in two field campaigns in consecutive years, to obtain the electrical conductivity structure of the earth's crust and upper mantle. These new geophysical data will provide the basis for future active seismic experiments and for multi-disciplinary synthesis and integration of results.

Time Frame

  • June 2008 - October 2009


  • DFG - German Research Foundation
  • GFZ - Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

Principal Investigators

  • Dr. O. Ritter (GFZ Potsdam)
  • Dr. J. Mechie (GFZ Potsdam)
  • Dr. X. Yuan (GFZ Potsdam)
  • Dr. B. Schurr (GFZ Potsdam)


  • Russian Academy of Sciences, Bishkek (Kyrgyz Republic)
  • Timur Frunze, Central Asian Institute for Applied Geosciences (Bishkek)
  • Institute of Geology, Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan
  • PMP International, Republic of Tajikistan
  • GFZ
  • TU Freiberg, Institut für Geologie
  • UNI Potsdam, Institut für Geowissenschaften
  • Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Institut für Geowissenschaften

Methods & Equipment


  • Mechie, J., Yuan, X., Schurr, B., Schneider, F., Sippl, C., Ratschbacher, L., Minaev, V., Gadoev, M., Oimahmadov, I., Abdybachaev, U., Moldobekov, B., Orunbaev, S. & Negmatullaev, S., 2012. Crustal and uppermost mantle structure along a profile across the Pamir and southern Tien Shan as derived from project TIPAGE wide-angle seismic data. Geophys. J. Int., 188, 385-407, doi:10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05278.x
  • Sippl, C., Schurr, B., Yuan, X., Mechie, J., Schneider, F.M., Gadoev, M.,Orunbaev, S., Oimahmadov, I., Haberland, C., Abdybachaev, U., Minaev, V., Negmatullaev S. and Radjabov, N., 2013. Geometry of the Pamir-Hindu Kush intermediate-depth earthquake zone from local seismic data. J. Geophys. Res., 118, 1438-1457, doi:10.1002/jgrb.50128.
  • Schneider, F. M., Yuan, X., Schurr, B., Mechie, J., Sippl, C., Haberland, C., Minaev, V., Oimahmadov, I., Gadoev, M., Radjabov, N., Abdybachaev, U., Orunbaev, S. and Negmatullaev, S., 2013. Seismic imaging of subducting continental lower crust beneath the Pamir. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 375, 101-112, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2013.05.015.
  • Sippl, C., Schurr, B., Tympel, J., Angiboust, S., Mechie, J., Yuan, X., Schneider, F., Sobolev, S.V., Ratschbacher, L., Haberland, C. and TIPAGE-Team, 2013. Deep burial of Asian continental crust beneath the Pamir imaged with local earthquake tomography. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 384, 165-177, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2013.10.013.
  • Schurr, B., Ratschbacher, L., Sippl, C., Gloaguen, R., Yuan, X. and Mechie, J., 2014. Seismotectonics of the Pamir. Tectonics, 33: 1501-1518, doi:10.1002/2014TC003576.
  • Kufner, S.-K., Schurr, B., Sippl, C., Yuan, X., Ratschbacher, L., Akbar, A. s/of M., Ischuk, A., Murodkulov, S., Schneider, F., Mechie, J. and Tilmann, F., 2016. Deep India meets deep Asia: Lithospheric indentation, delamination and break-off under Pamir and Hindu Kush (Central Asia). Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 435: 171-184, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.11.046.
  • Li, W., Chen, Y., Yuan, X., Schurr, B., Mechie, J., Oimahmadov, I. and Fu, B., 2018. Continental lithospheric subduction and intermediate-depth seismicity: Constraints from S-wave velocity structures in the Pamir and Hindu Kush. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 482: 478-489, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2017.11.031.
  • Kufner, S.-K., Eken, T., Tilmann, F., Schurr, B., Yuan, X., Mechie, J., Sippl, C. and Schneider, F., 2018. Seismic anisotropy beneath the Pamir and the Hindu Kush: evidence for contributions from crust, mantle lithosphere and asthenosphere. J. Geophys. Res., 123: 10727-10748, doi:10.1029/2018JB015926.
  • Mechie, J., Schurr, B., Yuan, X., Schneider, F., Sippl, C., Minaev, V., Gadoev, M., Oimahmadov, I., Abdybachaev, U., Moldobekov, B. and Orunbaev, S., 2019. Observations of guided waves from the Pamir seismic zone provide additional evidence for the existence of subducted continental lower crust. Tectonophysics, 762: 1-16, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2019.04.007.
  • Schneider, F.M., Yuan, X., Schurr, B., Mechie, J., Sippl, C., Kufner, S.-K., Ratschbacher, L., Tilmann, F., Oimahmadov, I., Gadoev, M., Minaev, V., Abdybachaev, U., Orunbaev, S., Ischuk, A. and Murodkulov, S., 2019. The crust in the Pamir: Insights from receiver functions. J. Geophys. Res., 124: 9313-9331, doi:10.1029/2019JB017765.
  • Kufner, S.-K., Kakar, N., Bezada, M., Bloch, W., Metzger, S., Yuan, X., Mechie, J., Ratschbacher, L., Murodkulov, S., Deng, Z. and Schurr, B., 2021. The Hindu Kush slab break-off as revealed by deep structure and crustal deformation. Nat. Commun., 12, 1685, doi:10.1038/s41467-021-21760-w.
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