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India sinking into the Earth's mantle?

February 01, 2010 11:04 IST

A new study based on computer models has suggested that India is sinking into the Earth's mantle.

Scientists have been mystified by the fact that the Himalayan mountain range is still growing, despite the fact that the India tectonic plate has been slamming into the Eurasia plate from the past 50 million years.

According to a report in Discovery News, a new study led by Fabio Capitanio of Monash University in Australia -- based on computer models of the two plates -- shows that the formation and continued growth of the world's highest mountain range makes the most sense if a dense piece of India is down in the mantle, dragging the rest of the continent down with it.

That may not sound so weird, but continents are buoyant; they're supposed to float, not sink. All the subduction that is heard about all over the world is dense ocean crust sinking underneath continents.

But the situation in the Himalayas is different. It's as though two cars collided, and one started to sink into the pavement.

Source: ANI