“For the past 40 million years the Indian subcontinent has been pushing northward against the Eurasian land mass, giving rise to the severest earththquakes and the most diverse land forms known”
No this is not taken from today’s newspaper but from an article about the Collision between India and Eurasia brought by Scientific American in April 1977.
Here is what my local newspaper said on its front page today. 10 October 2005:
The death toll in the aftermath of a massive earthquake in Pakistan could reach 30,000, with risk of further earthquakes.
And in small letters on page 3: Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, is 3.7 meters shorter than previously thought. In May this year Chinese scientist measured Mount Everest to be 8,844.43 meters, and not 8,848,13 m as measured by the Chinese in 1975. Chinese scientists say the measure now is more precise, and they don't suggest that the mountain has.
But back to the most important heading: the Kashmir earthquake or rather earthquakes, because there has in fact been a whole series. A first question may be how better to predict this sort of quakes. For a better prediction we need a better understanding, both small scale and large scale. Plate tectonics is a large scale, global, framework, and the Himalayas have over the past 40 years played a major role in the scientists growing understanding of the tectonics.
Nearly 100 million years ago, India was a separate continent. It had just separated from southern Africa as part of the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwanaland. From there the Indian plate moved to the north at speeds of around 15 cm per year — much faster than any plate is moving today. It slammed into Eurasia and as a result Himalaya and the Tibetan Plateau were born.
The Tibetan Plateau is not just the largest, highest area in the world today; it may be the largest and highest in all of geologic history. It is furthermore not only a showcase of plate tectonics, but also plays an important role for the climate on earth.
You can read more about that at About.com – geology:http://geology.about.com/library/weekly/aa112501a.htm?nl=1