The Himalayan mountain variety and Tibetan plateau have developed as a result of the collision in between the Indian Plate and Eurasian key which started 50 million years ago and continues today.




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225 million years earlier (Ma) India was a big island located off the Australian coast and also separated indigenous Asia by the Tethys Ocean. The supercontinent Pangea started to rest up 200 Ma and India started a northward drift in the direction of Asia. 80 Ma India was 6,400 kilometres south of the eastern continent however moving towards it in ~ a price of in between 9 and 16 cm per year. Right now Tethys ocean floor would have been subducting northwards in ~ Asia and also the key margin would have been a Convergent oceanic-continental one just like the Andes today.

As watched in the animation above not all of the Tethys s floor was totally subducted; most of the thick sediments ~ above the Indian margin of the s were scraped off and accreted top top the Eurasian continent in what is recognized as an accretionary wedge (link come glossary). These scraped-off sediments room what now kind the Himalayan hill range.

From about 50-40 Ma the rate of northward drift the the Indian continental plate slowed to about 4-6 cm per year. This slowdown is understood to mark the beginning of the collision in between the Eurasian and Indian continental plates, the closeup of the door of the former Tethys Ocean, and the initiation the Himalayan uplift.

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

The Eurasian bowl was partly crumpled and buckled up above the Indian plate yet due to your low density/high buoyancy neither continent plate can be subducted. This brought about the continental crust to thicken as result of folding and faulting through compressional pressures pushing up the Himalaya and the Tibetan Plateau. The continental crust right here is double the median thickness at approximately 75 km. The thickening that the continental crust marked the finish of volcanic activity in the region as any type of magma moving upwards would certainly solidify before it could reach the surface.

The Himalayas are still increasing by an ext than 1 cm per year as India proceeds to move northwards right into Asia, which explains the incident of shallow focus earthquakes in the region today. However the forces of weathering and also erosion are lowering the Himalayas at around the exact same rate. The Himalayas and Tibetan plateau tendency east-west and also extend for 2,900 km, reaching the maximum elevation of 8,848 metres (Mount Everest – the highest suggest on Earth).


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Northward migration of India note that this figure is a simplification and does not take right into account the vast amount the crustal shortening that would have occurred in both the Eurasian and Indian plates. Prior to collision, both plates would have prolonged much further than their existing boundaries: some 2500 kilometres of India’s continental crust was either subducted in ~ Asia or squashed and stacked up right into the Himalaya. Timings ~ above the diagram therefore correspond accurately to the known position of the Indian continent over the past 71 Ma yet not the timing of collision in between the continent which began around 50 Ma.