Identifying faults near the crest of the Himalaya: Dr. Jeni McDermott

Although one of the best-studied areas in the world, much still remains to be understood about the Himalaya. One such remaining question pertains to why the core of the Himalaya, which contains the fastest uplift rates in the region, is located more than 150 kilometers from the known active faults at the range front.

Dr. McDermott has been working to unravel this mystery and recently (summer 2016) returned to the Himalaya to continue the work. Dr. McDermott’s work has focused on identifying faults near the crest of the Himalaya (at the top of the high uplift zone) and constraining the timing of uplift using low-temperature thermochronology of apatite and zircon (U-Th)/He.

Her previous work found evidence for Plio-Pleistocene slip on such fault strands in two locations in the Himalaya but the question of regional importance remained unanswered. This past summer, Dr. McDermott and three UST undergraduate students, traveled to central Nepal to further examine the regional extent of one of the previously mapped faults.