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India Drifted Very Fast Towards Eurasia 80 Million Years Ago And Formed The Himalayas

Published on 8 May, 2015 at 9:00 pm By

A recent study conducted by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said that India rapidly moved toward Eurasia 80 million years ago, as reported DNA.

The study showed that more than 140 million years ago, India was part of an immense supercontinent called Gondwana, which covered much of the Southern Hemisphere and around 120 million years ago, what is now India broke off and started slowly migrating north, at about 5 centimeters per year.


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About 80 million years ago, the drift of the continent suddenly sped up, racing north at about 15 centimeters per year about twice as fast as the fastest modern tectonic drift. The continent collided with Eurasia about 50 million years ago, giving rise to the Himalayas.

 

Wondering how India drifted northward so quickly, Geologists at MIT have offered up an answer. They said:



India was pulled northward by the combination of two subduction zones regions in the Earth’s mantle where the edge of one tectonic plate sinks under another plate. As one plate sinks, it pulls along any connected landmasses. Two such sinking plates would provide twice the pulling power, doubling India’s drift velocity.

So, how did they find out? The team found relics of what may have been two subduction zones by sampling and dating rocks from the Himalayan region. They then developed a model for a double subduction system and determined India’s drifting velocity.


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