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Recent Evidence of Eastern Himalaya Drift

A gorge along the Parlung River, the eastern Himalayas syntaxis in Tibet is tectonically active. The concurrence of high mountains and strong rivers that cause erosion makes it an ideal place to study the role of surface activity, such as erosion, in controlling tectonics. A latest study published on 8th August’2016 in Science, states that the syntaxis is moving northwards.


The researchers have used a new technique called Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) Thermochronometry. This disagrees with a belief that the surface erosion due to the dominant river and other factors would attach the high erosion zone to its location.


The topography of mountain ranges comes to be as a result of diverse factors such as tectonics, climate and surface processes. In this circumstance, the study contributes to a debate about the importance of surface processes such as river erosion and other activities to tectonics.


The tall mountains of Himalayas over 7,000 meters high and influential rivers make the eastern Himalayas syntaxis an ideal location to study the effects of erosion on tectonics. As this surface processes are so powerful, the erosion is quick.


By observing the history of concentrations of electrons, the scientists estimates that the temperature shape against the time and then transform this into knowledge of the depth as a function of time. This helps the researchers to comprehend the rate at which the rock rose to the surface.


The measurements were made by the researchers at five regions along the Parlung River which were across the northern end of the exhuming area, and three regions to the south. The samples from the north were in the range of 30 to 150 thousand years. The south samples yielded ages of around 200,000 years. This difference is critical in inferring the drift.