Tectonic observations in the Tethyan Himalaya reveal an important extensional event that succeeds the emplacement of SW-verging nappes. A major thrust, called the Kum Tso Thrust, has been backfolded and reactivated by normal faulting associated with this event.
Measurements of the Kübler index, coupled with characterization of clay-size paragenesis show the effect of normal faulting on the regional metamorphic zonation and indicate that important extension zones, like the Sarchu-Lachung La Normal Fault Zone (SLFZ), exist within the Tethyan Himalaya. Diagenetic limestones from within the SLFZ are characterized by the occurrence of mixed-layered clay phases, kaolinite and an illite with a 001 peak >0.4 Δ°2θ. This zone is bordered by two anchizonal-to-epizonal zones, where illite peaks become narrower. Further to the NE the successive appearance of biotite, chloritoid, garnet and garnet-staurolite-kyanite assemblages testifies to an increase in metamorphic grade. The cataclastic samples from the normal faults contain kaolinite, smectite and a ‘broad’ illite, indicating that extension occurs under diagenetic conditions.