Himalayas Geology

Posted on February 19, 2007  Comments (2)

Mystery of the Himalayas Solved:

The mystery of why the Himalaya mountains and the Tibetan plateau are the highest in the world has at last been answered, with the discovery of a gigantic chunk of rock slowly sinking towards the centre of the Earth. When the massive slab – up to eight times the area of the UK and as thick as a dozen Everests on top of each other – dropped off, the lighter crust above it rebounded upwards like a cork released under water, geophysicists say. This “sudden uplift” would have raised the Himalayas by as much as 2km (1.24 miles) to their present height.

If not for the surge, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay might have found themselves reaching the “roof of the world” by conquering Aconcagua (6,962m) in Argentina while Everest languished at a mere 6,848m above sea level, 2,000m below its actual peak. The discovery of the missing mantle – the cold, heavy rock beneath the crust – was revealed last week by Professor Wang-Ping Chen at the University of Illinois, whose team used more than 200 super-sensitive seismometers strung across the Himalayas, from India deep into Tibet.

But some scientists remain sceptical. One geologist at Cambridge, who wanted to remain anonymous because he hadn’t yet read Professor Chen’s paper, suggested that the slab could be the remains of the Tethys Ocean plate. Professor England counters that both the Asian and Indian plates have moved north since then

Related: Water in Earth’s Deep MantleDrilling to the Center of the Earth

2 Responses to “Himalayas Geology”

  1. CuriousCat: A New Epoch - Anthropocene
    June 15th, 2008 @ 11:56 am

    “Geologists wonder if they should add a new epoch to the geological time scale. They call it the Anthropocene – the epoch when, for the first time in Earth’s history, humans have become a predominant geophysical force…”

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Does the Earth Have Two Cores?
    January 6th, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

    […] Himalayas Geology – Drilling to the Center of the Earth – Curious Cat Science and Engineering Search by […]

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