Why quakes happen in the Himalayas ?

Why quakes happen in the Himalayas ?

Question:-The Himalayan region is highly prone to earthquakes and has experienced some extremely devastating ones in the past and as per the study, a major one is yet to come. The recent earthquake in Nepal too was predicted by the scientists. Analyze the reasons as to why is the Himalayan region seismically active?

- The Himalayan ranges are a result of the collision of Indian plate that is moving in a north east direction, with the Eurasian plate. This movement started around 50 million years ago and continues till today. This has given rise to many fault lines which has made the region highly susceptible to earthquakes.

- The release of stress, as per studies, is the reason for massive earthquakes. The stress has been building up in the crust along the Himalayan region for decades. Since the biggest earthquake in Assam in 1950, the fault lines have remained quiet, however with mounting pressure. Many parts of the Himalayan region have been seismically inactive for a long time and if an earthquake was to occur, it would prove catastrophic.

- The point where the plates converge, is where the Indian plate gets pushed beneath the Eurasian. As the plates are pushed together, a lot of pressure is built until the Indian plate suddenly lurches downwards which sends a huge earthquake.

- The convergence of plates takes place relatively rapid- around 2 centimeters a year and most of the regions in central Himalayas are holding onto at least meters which is bound to cause a massive earthquake when released.

- The movement of Indian plate continues to put enormous pressure on the Asian continent, and Tibet presses against the landmass to the north that is surrounding it. The eventual effect of tectonic forces acting on this geologically complicated region is to squeeze parts of Asia eastward. One grave effect of these processes is a domino effect ie tremendous stress built up within the earth's crust, which gets relieved periodically by earthquakes that occur along the numerous faults.

- Few of the world's most destructive earthquakes in history are associated with continuous tectonic processes which had begun 50 million years ago when the Indian and Eurasian continents first converged.

- As the studies show, India is moving beneath Asia, the basic reason for earthquakes. There will be a specific angle at which it will be moving downwards and if this is a smooth one, chances of energy concentration are low, however if the angle is high then energy concentration too will be higher at the point where it is bending.


- Estimated to be 70 million years old, the Himalayas is one of the youngest mountain ranges spanning across the countries of Nepal, Tibet, India, China and Pakistan.

- The snow capped mountains constitute the third largest deposit of ice and snow in the world with the higher regions being snowbound throughout the year.

- The rivers flowing from the Himalayas are supposedly older than the Himalayan peaks. The Indus, Yangtze and Ganges-Brahmaputra rivers have indeed originated from the Himalayas to form the three major rivers in the Asian continent.
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