200km deep subduction of Indian continent under Asia

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Washington, May 29 (ANI): The continental crust of the Indian tectonic plate was forced down under the Asian plate by around 200 kilometres some 90 million years ago, when the Indian subcontinent clashed with Asia, a research has revealed.

"The subduction of continental crust to this depth has never been reported in the Himalayas and is also extremely rare in the rest of world," said Dr Anju Pandey of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, who led the research.

To demonstrate their theory, Pandey and her colleagues analysed the occurrence of relict majorite - a mineral garnet stable only under ultra-high pressure conditions. This indicates that it must have been formed very deep down in the Earth's crust, before the subducted material was exhumed millions of years later.

"Our findings are significant because researchers have disagreed about the depth of subduction of the Indian plate beneath Asia," said Pandey.

"Our results are backed up by computer modelling and will radically improve our understanding of the subduction of the Indian continental crust beneath the Himalayas," she added.

The new research findings were published this month in the journal Geology. (ANI)

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