Plate tectonics and the Himalayas

C. McA Powell*, P. J. Conaghan

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    401 Citations (Scopus)


    The Himalayas, commonly taken as the type example of continent-continent collision, have developed in two stages. The first stage involves convergence of the northward-drifting Indian subcontinent with a proto-Tibetan landmass during Late Cretaceous and Palaeocene, with collision before Middle Eocene. The second stage involves formation of a fundamental crustal fracture within the Indian block during Late Eocene and Oligocene, and underthrusting of the Indian subcontinent along this fracture from Miocene to Recent. The present elevated Himalayan mountain chain is not a direct result of the continent-continent collision, but of uplift during underthrusting along the deep crustal fracture.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-12
    Number of pages12
    JournalEarth and Planetary Science Letters
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1973


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