Colliding Continents : A geological exploration of the by Mike Searle

By Mike Searle

The crash of the Indian plate into Asia is the largest recognized collision in geological historical past, and it maintains this present day. the result's the Himalaya and Karakoram - one of many greatest mountain levels in the world. The Karakoram has 1/2 the world's maximum mountains and a name as being probably the most distant and savage levels of all. during this superbly illustrated publication, Mike Searle, a geologist on the collage of Oxford and probably the most skilled box geologists of ourtime, offers a wealthy account of the geological forces that have been occupied with developing those mountain levels. utilizing his own money owed of utmost climbing and study within the sector, he items jointly the geological strategies that shaped such extraordinary peaks.

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These granites resulted from melting of the crust above a subducting ocean plate. 3). 4a–d). Sedimentary rocks along this basin were all of continental derivation, great river floods depositing fluvial conglomerates and fine-grained silts and muds that slowly settled along the floors of lakes. The clasts in the conglomerate beds could all be forensically traced to their source regions. Most were granites, with occasional andesites derived from the high Ladakh Range to the north, but a few were serpentinites, basalts, and red cherts—oceanic rocks derived from the great ocean that had closed along the Indus suture zone.

Geologists can use this palaeomagnetic data to reconstruct the movement of plates back in time. Oceanic crust is generated along mid-oceanic ridges, mountain ranges in the middle of the great oceans, along which upwelling magma erupts along deep fissures, crystallizes, and is pushed sideways by later volcanic eruptions. Iceland is one of the few places on Earth where a mid-oceanic ridge, in this case the MidAtlantic Ridge, is actually exposed on land. 5 km2 of new ocean crust is added to the Earth’s surface every year along the spreading centres of the world’s oceans.

The peaks of Nun (7,135 m) and Kun (7,077 m) in Zanskar are the highest mountains, with the Kishtwar Himalaya and Kashmir Valley in the distance. 34 | Colliding Continents from Delhi, or east from Kashmir into Leh, the views were simply mesmerizing. Enormous folds the size of British mountains were laid out below tiny patches of green barley fields next to Ladakhi villages revealing their true scale. Huge, winding glaciers carved great chasms between the mountain ranges. In Ladakh the rocks were of every hue and colour, from bright purple, red, ochre, and green, to the browns and greys of the limestones.

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