The end of the continental clash between India and Eurasia would be inevitable!
Sciences et technologies

The end of the continental clash between India and Eurasia would be inevitable!

Through analysis of seismic waves, researchers have identified the rupture of the Indian tectonic plate under Eurasia. A situation that could lead to a slowdown in the convergence of the two continents and the end of the Himalayan folding.

The Himalayan range was created by the titanic collision of two continents, India and Eurasia, 50–60 million years ago. This collision is a result of ocean closure TethysTethyswhich once occupied the space between two massesmasses continental. The closure occurred as a result of a major tectonic process: subduction. For tens of millions of years crustcrust Thus the Tethys Ocean was swallowed up coatcoat under Eurasia, dragging along the Indian continent, which eventually collided with its Eurasian counterpart.

Immersion of Indian crust fragments and detachment

It was these types of collisions in the history of the Earth that led to the formation of supercontinents. But can we already say that India and Eurasia have become one? Theoretically, two continents are considered fused when subduction stops and therefore ends movementmovement convergence. Because even when they collide, the continents continue to move closer together. This is what contributes to the growth of the mountain range. This convergence movement is still observed today between India and Eurasia, which is a sign that subduction is still active. But there are signs that this may soon come to an end.

The research team actually obtained the images using high-level seismic tomography. permissionpermissionthere morphologymorphology a plate sinking into the mantle (slab) beneath a mountain range. Analysis of seismic waves passing through the mantle revealed the Indian Plate, or at least what was left of it! Usually the slab really looks like anomalyanomaly continues to gain strength speedspeed plunging into the depths of the mantle. But instead, under the Himalayas, scientists discovered numerous areas of speed anomalies, detached from the surface. For researchers, these will be individual pieces of Indian slab.

Stopping the subduction process and merging two continents

However, this fragmentation of the falling slab could have important geodynamic consequences. Indeed, the movement of plates is ensured by two processes: the traction of plates plunging into the mantle at the level subduction zonessubduction zonesand a push caused by the formation of new oceanic crust on the ridges. Thus, in the case of India, slab rupture may result in a noticeable weakening of this traction force. A loss that will not be compensated by the traction force exerted by the spine.

Therefore, this situation can lead to a slowdown in the convergence of the two plates or even to a complete stop. In this case, India and Eurasia will no longer be considered two separate continents. This mergermerger continental is still poorly understood, and in this context the new results published in the journal Scientific Bulletin allow us to better document this tectonic process underlying the formation of supercontinents.

A Himalayan range that will continue to evolve

Thus, the rupture of the Indian plate in the mantle could potentially mean the imminent end of the Himalayan folding. However, this does not mean that the mountain range will stop developing, rather the opposite. It may even continue to grow under the influence of another process. If the fragments torn off from the Indian crust sink into the mantle, the remaining portion will actually rise and settle under the Himalayan range, causing the latter to rise. Climbasthenosphereasthenosphere resulting from the cessation of subduction, in turn, will cause expansion of the earth’s crust. These processes could explain some of the observations made so far, such as the initiation of structures faultsfaults and volcanism in Southern Tibet.

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