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Normalized Steepness Index along the Himalayan Arc as a proxy for Indian plate segmentation
  • Raj Sunil Kangregula,
  • Pavankumar Gayatri,
  • Ajai Manglik
Raj Sunil Kangregula
CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute
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Pavankumar Gayatri
National Geophysical Research Institute

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ajai Manglik
CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute
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The Indian plate underthrusting the Himalaya is considered to be segmented along the collision belt arc and seismic images of the Indian mantle lithosphere (IML) suggest along-arc variations in the angle of underthrusting and its northern limit beneath Tibet. The pre-existing transverse tectonic structures of the Indian plate mapped in the Ganga foreland basin have been related to these segmentation boundaries. These segmentations imply changes in mechanical properties of adjoining blocks which should manifest in the form of spatial variations in topography build-up. We have analysed a geomorphic index, normalized channel steepness (ksn), along the Himalayan arc using the ALOS elevation dataset to test whether there is any correlation between the and these segmentation boundaries. Our results bring out spatial variability in the along the arc. Based on these results, the arc can be segmented into five blocks, similar to the ones delineated based on correlation between the width of the Ganga foreland basin and the disposition of major Himalayan thrusts from the foothills. Thus, the can be used as a proxy to demarcate different tectonic blocks along the Himalayan arc. Further, we have found a good correlation between the basin width and the northern limit of the IML for all block except the Uttarakhand block. We infer that transverse crustal heterogeneities in this block due to the continuation of different litho-units of the Aravalli-Delhi Fold Belt could be a plausible cause for this anti-correlation.