India is witnessing radical changes under the Earth's surface, as a new study revealed that the Indian continental plate may split into two parts.
While you might imagine a tectonic plate breaking into two pieces and separating sideways, scientists claim that the change occurs horizontally and that the plate breaks into separate layers.
There has been a lot of controversy in the scientific community about what could be behind the formation of the Tibetan Plateau.
A new theory was put forward at the American Geophysical Union conference in December, which claims that the Indian plate is “disintegrating” — which means that the upper part of the two sections of the plate will account for Tibet's incredible rise, while the lower part will sink into the Earth's mantle.
Simon Klemperer of Stanford University and study co-authors derived their arguments after studying the levels of helium found in Tibetan springs.
According to their research in the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed and is available at ESS Open archiveA pattern has been discovered indicating that the mantle was close enough to the Earth's surface for rare helium-3 to emerge through springs in northern Tibet.
However, in southern Tibet, the more abundant helium-4 is more evident, indicating that the plate has not yet divided there.
Talking to Science MagazineProfessor de van Hinsbergen from Utrecht University spoke about this concept. “We didn't know that continents could behave this way, and this is very fundamental to solid Earth science,” said van Hinsbergen, who is not an author of the study.
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