The Himalayan mountain variety and Tibetan plateau have formed as a an outcome of the collision between the Indian Plate and Eurasian bowl which started 50 million years earlier and proceeds today.




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225 million years earlier (Ma) India was a big island positioned off the Australian coast and separated from Asia by the Tethys Ocean. The supercontinent Pangea started to rest up 200 Ma and India began a northward drift towards Asia. 80 Ma India to be 6,400 kilometres south that the asian continent but moving in the direction of it at a rate of in between 9 and 16 centimeter per year. Right now Tethys s floor would have actually been subducting northwards beneath Asia and the bowl margin would have been a Convergent oceanic-continental one just like the Andes today.

As seen in the animation above not every one of the Tethys ocean floor was completely subducted; most of the special sediments ~ above the Indian margin the the ocean were scraped off and also accreted ~ above the Eurasian continent in what is well-known as an accretionary wedge (link come glossary). These scraped-off sediments space what now kind the Himalayan hill range.

From about 50-40 Ma the price of northward drift that the Indian continental plate slowed to roughly 4-6 centimeter per year. This slowdown is understood to mark the start of the collision between the Eurasian and also Indian continent plates, the close up door of the former Tethys Ocean, and the initiation that Himalayan uplift.

(Note that in the over animation the continental plates are shown to collide at 10 Ma; this should instead read 50 Ma.)

The Eurasian key was partly crumpled and buckled up over the Indian plate yet due to your low density/high buoyancy neither continent plate could be subducted. This caused the continent crust come thicken due to folding and faulting through compressional pressures pushing up the Himalaya and the Tibetan Plateau. The continental crust here is double the mean thickness at approximately 75 km. The thickening of the continent crust significant the finish of volcanic activity in the an ar as any type of magma moving upwards would solidify prior to it might reach the surface.

The Himalayas space still rising by an ext than 1 cm per year together India proceeds to move northwards right into Asia, which describes the event of shallow focus earthquakes in the region today. Yet the forces of weathering and also erosion are lowering the Himalayas at about the same rate. The Himalayas and also Tibetan plateau trend east-west and extend because that 2,900 km, getting to the maximum elevation of 8,848 metres (Mount Everest – the highest suggest on Earth).


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Northward hike of India keep in mind that this number is a simplification and does no take into account the substantial amount the crustal shortening that would have occurred in both the Eurasian and also Indian plates. Before collision, both plates would have prolonged much additional than their existing boundaries: part 2500 kilometres of India’s continent crust to be either subducted in ~ Asia or squashed and also stacked up right into the Himalaya. Timings on the diagram as such correspond accurately come the well-known position of the Indian continent over the previous 71 Ma yet not the timing of collision in between the continent which began around 50 Ma.