The Formation of Nepalese Himalayas

by | Jun 27, 2018
The Formation of Nepalese Himalayas

All of the mountain summits taller than 7000 m are located in this part of our planet, and several large rivers, which rise in these highlands, provide fresh water for nearly three billion people in Asia (almost half of world population). Sediments shed from the Himalaya have also formed extensive agricultural plains in northern India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh which have supported civilisations for millennia. The Himalaya act as a topographic barrier to the summer-time warm monsoon winds coming from the Indian Ocean and the winter-time cold winds coming from Siberia, and have thus caused cold dry climate in Tibet but torrential rainfall on the valleys and plains to the south.

Around 220 million years ago, around the time that Pangea was breaking apart, India started to move northwards. It travelled some 6,000 kilometres before it finally collided with Asia around 40 to 50 million years ago. Then, part of the Indian landmass began to go beneath the Asian one, moving the Asian landmass up, which resulted in the rise of the Himalayas. It’s thought that India’s coastline was denser and more firmly attached to the seabed, which is why Asia’s softer soil was pushed up. The mountain range grew very rapidly in comparison to most mountain ranges, and it’s actually still growing today. Mount Everest and its fellows actually grow by approximately a net of about a centimeter or so every year. And it’s also important to note that the fault line that this created between the asian and indian plate lies just below Nepal where the energy trapped due to the supermassive collision of continents and sliding of the crust from time to time comes roaring up as a massive earthquake in this general fault line area, in case of Nepal a 7+ Richter scale earthquake every 80 years( 2015 earthquake of Nepal was the latest earthquake so far).

The range occupies most of Nepal and extends into the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and Sikkim state in India. The Nepal-Tibet border roughly follows the line of the highest part of the range (the Great Himalayas), featuring several of the world’s highest peaks: Everest (29,035 feet [8,850 metres]), Kanchenjunga (28,169 feet [8,586 metres]), Makalu (27,766 feet [8,463 metres]), Dhaulagiri I (26,795 feet [8,167 metres]), Manaslu I (26,781 feet [8,163 metres]), and Annapurna I (26,545 feet [8,091 metres]). These permanently snow-covered mountains overlook huge glaciers. Rivers flow southward through deep ravines that cut through even the highest ridges; thus, the watershed between the Brahmaputra (north) and the Ganges (south) lies in Tibet well north of the greatest peaks.
This Himalayan range of Nepal is one of the youngest mountain ranges on the planet and consists mostly of uplifted sedimentary and metamorphic rock. According to the modern theory of plate tectonics its formation is a result of a continental collision or orogeny along the convergent boundary between the Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian Plate The Arakan Yoma highlands in Myanmar and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal were also formed as a result of this collision.


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