The Kangmar metamorphic-igneous complex is one of the most accessible examples of an enigmatic group of gneiss domes (the North Himalayan belt) that lies midway between the Greater Himalaya and the Indus-Tsangpo suture in southern Tibet. Structural analysis suggests that the domal structure formed as a consequence of extensional deformation, much like the Tertiary metamorphic core complexes in the North American Cordillera. Unlike its North American counterparts, the Kangmar dome developed in an entirely convergent tectonic setting. The documentation of metamorphic core complexes in the Himalayan orogen supports the emerging concept that extensional processes may play an important role in the evolution of compressional mountain belts.
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