Lhasa Block Top to Bottom - Lithospheric Evolution of Asia's Leading Edge

This collaborative project uses southern Tibet as a natural laboratory to examine how the architecture and evolution of the pre-collisional magmatic arc—its thickness, composition, and rheology—exert control on later orogenic development. Our work integrates data from studies in geochemistry, geochronology, paleoelevation studies, seismology, tectonics, and thermo-mechanical modeling.

This multidisciplinary five-year project, funded by the Continental Dynamics Program of the U.S. National Science Foundation, involves a number of collaborators from institutions in the U.S., China, and Europe. Project participants include Anne Meltzer, Josh Stachnik, Peter Zeitler, and Jen Schmidt at Lehigh, Don Depaolo (Project Coordinator) at Berkeley, An Yin and Mark Harrison at UCLA, David Rowley at Chicago, David Shuster at the Berkeley Geochronology Center and Berkeley, Frederic Herman at ETH in Zurich, Mo Xuanxue, Zhidan Zhao, and Di-cheng Zhu at China University of Geosciences, Junmeng Zhao at the Institute for Tibetan Plateau Research, and Liangshu Wang and Mingie Xu at Nanjing University.

fieldwork in Tibet

Installation of a temporary broadband sesimic station in Tibet.


As part of this multidisciplinary project we are deploying an 80 station broadband seismic array in southern Tibet. Our goals are to:
measure lateral variations in crustal thickness,
image and characterize crustal reflectivity including the lateral extent, thickness, and velocity structure of a high velocity layer at the base of the crust,
evaluate the velocity structure and rheology of the crust and lithospheric mantle.


anne in tibet

Contact Information

Anne Meltzer
+1.610.758.3673 (Office)
+1.610.758.3677 (Fax)
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Lehigh University
1 West Packer Avenue
Bethlehem, PA 18015-3001 USA
Meltzer CV
Careers in Seismology
SSA Seismological Society of America
Seismological Grand Challenges
Understanding Earth's Dynamic Systems - Long Range Science Plan for Seismology
Seismology Resources
IRIS Facility support for seismology
USGS National Earthquake Information Center