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Lecture 3

GEOG 3RW3 Lecture 3: Geography 3RW3 - Lecture 3 - Geological Structures and Relief: Part 1

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Segei Basik

Geography 3RW3 – Dr. Basik – Page 1 Lecture 3 – Wednesday January 8 Geological Structures and Relief: Part 1 1. Supercontinent Pangaea • Gondwanaland o (Greek “all land”) broke apart about 220 million years ago: two huge landmass agglomerations – Laurasia (north) and Gondwanaland (south) o Gonds  name of an Indian tribe o Geologist Eduard Suess (19 century) first used the term Gondwanaland – “the land of Gonds” (Gond people live in the Central India, Madhya Pradesh) o Gondwanaland started to disperse about 165-140 million years ago o Indian Subcontinent (Indian Plate) was a large island situated south of the Equator, near Australia – not part of Eurasia o A vast ocean, Tethys Sea, separated India from the Asian continent • Figures o Picture: The 6000-km+ journey of the Indian Plate before its collision with Eurasian Plate about 50 million years ago o Because both these continental landmasses have about the same rock density, one plate could not be subducted under the other o The Himalayan mountain range – one of the most visible and spectacular consequences of plate tectonics o This immense mountain range began to form about 50 million years o The Himalayas have risen very rapidly: in 50 million years, peaks such as Mount Everest have risen to heights up to 9 km o The impinging of the two landmasses has yet to end: the Himalayas continue to rise about 1 cm per year (10 km in a million years) o Picture: The meeting of two plates before and after their collision. The reference points (small yellow squares) show the amount of uplift of an imaginary point in the Earth’s crust during this mountain building process 2. The Tectonic Units of Himalayan Tectonic Zone • Himalayan Tectonic Zone* o 1. Trans-Himalayan (Kangdese) Batholith – old granites o 2. Indus – Tsangpo Suture Zones – a belt of ophiolites o 3. Tibetan Tethys Himalaya – marine sedimentary rocks o 4. High Centr
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