The Himalayan hill selection and Tibetan plateau have actually formed as a result of the collision between the Indian Plate and also Eurasian Plate which started 50 million years earlier and also proceeds this particular day.




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225 million years back (Ma) India was a huge island also situated off the Australian coast and also separated from Asia by the Tethys Ocean. The supercontinent Pangea started to break up 200 Ma and India began a northward drift towards Asia. 80 Ma India was 6,400 km southern of the Oriental continent however relocating in the direction of it at a rate of between 9 and also 16 cm per year. Right now Tethys Ocean floor would certainly have actually been subducting northwards beneath Asia and also the plate margin would have actually been a Convergent oceanic-continental one just favor the Andes now.

As checked out in the animation over not all of the Tethys Ocean floor was completely subducted; a lot of of the thick sediments on the Indian margin of the sea were scraped off and also accreted onto the Eurasian continent in what is well-known as an accretionary wedge (link to glossary). These scraped-off sediments are what now develop the Himalayan hill range.

From about 50-40 Ma the price of northward drift of the Indian continental plate slowed to approximately 4-6 cm per year. This slowdown is interpreted to note the start of the collision between the Eurasian and Indian continental plates, the cshedding of the previous Tethys Ocean, and also the initiation of 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 plate was partly crumpled and also buckled up over the Indian plate yet because of their low density/high buoyancy neither continental plate might be subducted. This resulted in the continental crust to thicken because of folding and faulting by compressional pressures pushing up the Himalaya and also the Tibetan Plateau. The continental crust here is twice the average thickness at about 75 kilometres. The thickening of the continental crust noted the finish of volcanic task in the area as any magma relocating upwards would certainly solidify before it can reach the surchallenge.

The Himalayas are still increasing by even more than 1 cm per year as India proceeds to move northwards right into Asia, which describes the occurrence of shallow focus earthquakes in the area this day. However before the pressures of weathering and erosion are lowering the Himalayas at about the exact same rate. The Himalayas and also Tibetan plateau trend east-west and extfinish for 2,900 km, reaching the maximum elevation of 8,848 metres (Mount Everest – the highest allude on Earth).


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Northward migration of India Keep in mind that this figure is a simplification and does not take into account the huge amount of crustal shortening that would certainly have actually emerged in both the Eurasian and Indian plates. Before collision, both plates would have extended much additionally than their current boundaries: some 2500 km of India’s continental crust was either subducted beneath Asia or squamelted and also stacked up into the Himalaya. Timings on the diagram therefore correspond accurately to the known place of the Indian continent over the past 71 Ma yet not the timing of collision in between the continents which began roughly 50 Ma.