UPI in English  |   UPI Arabic  |   UPI en Español  |   UPIU

New date seen for creation of Himalayas

Published By United Press International
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- The tectonic plate collision between India and Asia that created the Himalayas may have occurred 10 million years later than previously thought, geologists say.

India, moving northward at a rapid pace, crushed up against Eurasia and created a "crumple zone" we now know as the Himalayan mountains, but analysis of rocks from two regions in the mountains suggest there were actually two collisions, they said.

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say the evidence suggests the tectonic plate bearing India moved northward first collided with a string of islands 50 million years ago before plowing into the Eurasian continental plate 10 million years later.

"India came running full speed at Asia and boom, they collided," MIT geology Professor Oliver Jagoutz said. "But we actually don't think it was one collision ... this changes dramatically the way we think the India/Asia collision works."

The findings may change ideas about the size of India before it collided with Asia, because during the collision part of the ancient Indian plate slid underneath the Eurasian plate, researchers said.

It's not clear how much of India lies beneath Asia, but what is seen of India's surface today is much smaller than it was 50 million years ago, they said.
© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.

Photo Gallery
1 of 1
Tour de France concludes in Paris
Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa