By Mike Searle
The crash of the Indian plate into Asia is the largest identified collision in geological background, and it keeps this present day. the result's the Himalaya and Karakoram - one of many biggest mountain levels in the world. The Karakoram has half the world's maximum mountains and a name as being probably the most distant and savage levels of all. during this superbly illustrated booklet, Mike Searle, a geologist on the college of Oxford and some of the most skilled box geologists of ourtime, provides a wealthy account of the geological forces that have been curious about developing those mountain levels. utilizing his own debts of maximum climbing and study within the quarter, he items jointly the geological methods that shaped such extraordinary peaks.
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Extra info for Colliding Continents : A geological exploration of the Himalaya, Karakoram, and Tibet
The dark band in the middle is the Indus suture zone, the collision zone separating the trans-Himalayan Ladakh granites to the north from the Indian plate sedimentary rocks in the Zanskar Range to the south. The large lake in the south is Tso Morari which sits in a north–southaligned rift valley in Rupshu, northernmost India. Continents in Collision | 33 In 1978, when we were climbing in the mountains of Kulu, I had looked from our high summits across to the desert mountains of Lahoul and Zanskar, north of the main Himalayan watershed.
Oceans and Continents | 23 Mapping the Oman Ophiolite Altogether I spent three winter seasons in Oman mapping the rocks and structures in several key areas along the base of the great ophiolite thrust slice. I was beginning to formulate my own ideas about how the ophiolite became emplaced onto the Arabian continental margin, and it was exciting to see how all the bits and pieces of the puzzle suddenly started to come together. After many weeks out in the field I drove back through the mountains to our house near Sohar, spread out my field maps and started to fit them all together.
The oceanic plate is denser, and sinks beneath the continental margin along a deep subduction zone. These subduction zones are marked by numerous earthquakes set off when the plates slide past one another, and a line of active volcanoes such as that along the length of the Andes today. In the oceans, where two oceanic plates converge, a similar deep subduction zone, marked by intense seismic activity, is also evident from an island arc. These island arcs are especially common in the western Pacific Ocean (for example the Philippine, Mariana, New Hebrides, or Tonga island arcs) and also in the Caribbean (Lesser Antilles arc).