Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Deep subduction of the Indian continental crust beneath Asia

01.06.2010
Geological investigations in the Himalayas have revealed evidence that when India and Asia collided some 90 million years ago, the continental crust of the Indian tectonic plate was forced down under the Asian plate, sinking down into the Earth's mantle to a depth of at least 200 km kilometres1.

"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.

Pandey and her colleagues used sophisticated analytical techniques to demonstrate the occurrence of relict majorite, a variety of mineral garnet, in rocks collected from the Himalayas.

Majorite is stable only under ultra-high pressure conditions, meaning that they 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.

In fact, the previous depth estimates conflicted with estimates based on computer models. The new results suggest that the leading edge of the Indian plate sank to a depth around double that of previous estimates.

"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," said Pandey.

The new discovery is also set to modify several fundamental parameters of Himalayan tectonics, such as the rate of Himalayan uplift, angle, and subduction of the Indian plate.

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

The study was supported by the UK's Natural Environment research Council.

The researchers are Anju Pandey and Andy Milton of the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, Mary Leech of San Francisco State university), and Preeti Singh and Pramod Verma of the University of Delhi.

1 Pandey, A, Leech, M., Milton, A., Singh, P. & Verma, P. K. Evidence of former majoritic garnet in Himalayan eclogite points to 200-km-deep subduction of Indian continental crust. Geology 38, 399-402 (2010). doi: 10.1130/G30584.1

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is a new, national research organisation that went live from 1 April this year. The NOC will work in partnership with the UK marine research community to deliver integrated marine science and technology from the coast to the deep ocean.

The NOC brings together into a single institution NERC-managed activity at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, and the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory in Liverpool. The NOC will work in close partnership with the wider marine science community to create the integrated research capability needed to tackle the big environmental issues facing the world. Research priorities will include the oceans' role in climate change, sea-level change and the future of the Arctic Ocean.

Dr. Rory Howlett | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.soton.ac.uk

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals
22.02.2018 | University of Arizona

nachricht World's first solar fuels reactor for night passes test
21.02.2018 | SolarPACES

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>