Himalayan tectonics
The north (Raikhot) face of the mountain Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas of Pakistan. The summit (8125m) rises some five kilometres above the old mountaineering basecamp of Fairy Meadows in the foreground. Topography like this is a sure sign of active tectonics - the mountain grows as the crust thickens in response to continental collision.

go up the IndusThe Collision Show
Where and how do the continents deform?See deformed rocks Himalayan detritus

Himalayan earthquakes


The collision between the continent of India with the rest of Asia has produced some of the greatest mountain ranges of the modern world. As such it provides a stunning natural laboratory for understanding how the crust deforms following continent-continent collision (orogeny).

Because the system is still active we can use earthquakes to find out the pattern of earth movements ("kinematics") and relate these to plate motions. The northward drift of the Indian continent can be tracked using the spreading history of the Indian ocean.

You can use this site to investigate the collision system - to gain understanding of how the crust deforms, no only on the scale of the mountain ranges but also close up. And you can see how the mountains shed material, building up thick accumulations in nearly basins.

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