Indian Plate or
India Plate is a major tectonic plate straddling
the equator in the eastern hemisphere. Originally a part of the
ancient continent of Gondwana,
India broke away from the other
Gondwana 100 million years ago and began moving
north. Once fused with the adjacent Australia to form a single
Indo-Australian Plate, recent studies suggest that
India and Australia
have been separate plates for at least 3 million years and likely
longer. The Indian plate includes most of South Asia—i.e. the
Indian subcontinent—and a portion of the basin under the Indian
Ocean, including parts of South China and western Indonesia,
and extending up to but not including Ladakh, Kohistan and
1 Plate movements
3 See also
Due to plate tectonics, the
India Plate split from
collided (c. 55 Ma) with the Eurasian Plate, resulting in
the formation of the Himalayas.
Until roughly 140 million years ago, the
Indian Plate formed part
of the supercontinent
Gondwana together with modern Africa, Australia,
Antarctica, and South America.
Gondwana broke up as these continents
drifted apart at different velocities, a process which led to the
opening of the Indian Ocean.
In the late Cretaceous, approximately 100 million years ago and
subsequent to the splitting off from
Gondwana of conjoined Madagascar
and India, the
Indian Plate split from Madagascar. It began moving
north, at about 20 centimetres (7.9 in) per year, and is
believed to have begun colliding with Asia as early as 55 million
years ago, in the
Eocene epoch of the Cenozoic. However, some
authors suggest that the collision between
India and Eurasia occurred
much later, around 35 million years ago. If the collision
occurred between 55 and 50 Mya, the
Indian Plate would have covered a
distance of 3,000 to 2,000 kilometres (1,900 to 1,200 mi), moving
faster than any other known plate. In 2012, paleomagnetic data from
Himalaya was used to propose two collisions to reconcile
the discrepancy between the amount of crustal shortening in the
Himalaya (~1300 km) and the amount of convergence between India
and Asia (~3600 km). These authors propose a continental
fragment of northern
Gondwana rifted from India, traveled northward,
and initiated the "soft collision" between the Greater
Asia at ~50 Ma. This was followed by the "hard collision" between
India and Asia occurred at ~25 Ma.
Subduction of the resulting ocean
basin that formed between the Greater Himalayan fragment and India
explains the apparent discrepancy between the crustal shortening
estimates in the
Himalaya and paleomagnetic data from
India and Asia.
In 2007, German geologists suggested that the reason the Indian
Plate moved so quickly is that it is only half as thick (100
kilometres or 62 miles) as the other plates which formerly
constituted Gondwana. The mantle plume that once broke up Gondwana
might also have melted the lower part of the Indian subcontinent,
which allowed it to move both faster and further than the other
parts. The remains of this plume today form the Marion Hotspot
(Prince Edward Islands), the Kerguelen hotspot, and the Réunion
India moved north, it is possible that the
thickness of the Indian plate degenerated further as it passed over
the hotspots and magmatic extrusions associated with the Deccan and
Rajmahal Traps. The massive amounts of volcanic gases released
during the passage of the
Indian Plate over the hotspots have been
theorised to have played a role in the Cretaceous–Paleogene
extinction event, generally held to be due to a large asteroid
The collision with the
Eurasian Plate along the boundary between India
Nepal formed the orogenic belt that created the Tibetan Plateau
Himalaya Mountains, as sediment bunched up like earth before a
Indian Plate is currently moving north-east at 5 centimetres
(2.0 in) per year, while the
Eurasian Plate is moving north at
only 2 centimetres (0.79 in) per year. This is causing the
Eurasian Plate to deform, and the
Indian Plate to compress at a rate
of 4 millimetres (0.16 in) per year.
The westerly side of the
Indian Plate is a transform boundary with the
Arabian Plate called the Owen Fracture Zone, and a divergent boundary
African Plate called the
Central Indian Ridge
Central Indian Ridge (CIR). The
northerly side of the Plate is a convergent boundary with the Eurasian
Plate forming the
Hindu Kush mountains.
List of tectonic plates
List of tectonic plate interactions
^ "Sizes of Tectonic or Lithospheric Plates". Geology.about.com.
2014-03-05. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
^ Oskin, Becky (2013-07-05). "New Look at Gondwana's Breakup".
Livescience.com. Retrieved 2016-01-13.
^ * Stein, Seth; Sella, Giovanni F.; Okai, Emile A. (2002). "The
January 26, 2001 Bhuj
Earthquake and the Diffuse Western Boundary of
the Indian Plate" (PDF). Geodynamics Series. American Geophysical
Union: 243–254. doi:10.1029/GD030p0243. Retrieved 2015-12-25.
^ Sinvhal, Understanding
Earthquake Disasters, page 52, Tata
McGraw-Hill Education, 2010, ISBN 978-0-07-014456-9
^ Harsh K. Gupta, Disaster management, page 85, Universities Press,
2003, ISBN 978-81-7371-456-6
^ James R. Heirtzler, Indian ocean geology and biostratigraphy, page
American Geophysical Union, 1977, ISBN 978-0-87590-208-1
^ M. Asif Khan, Tectonics of the Nanga Parbat syntaxis and the Western
Himalaya, page 375, Geological Society of London, 2000,
^ Srikrishna Prapnnachari, Concepts in Frame Design, page 152,
Srikrishna Prapnnachari, ISBN 978-99929-52-21-4
^ A. M. Celâl Şengör, Tectonic evolution of the Tethyan Region,
Springer, 1989, ISBN 978-0-7923-0067-0
^ a b c d Kind 2007
^ a b c Kumar et al. 2007
^ Scotese 2001
^ Aitchison, Ali & Davis 2007
^ van Hinsbergen, D.; Lippert, P.; Dupont-Nivet, G.; McQuarrie, N.;
Doubrivine, P.; Spakman, W.; Torsvik, T. (2012). "Greater
hypothesis and a two-stage
Cenozoic collision between
India and Asia".
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109 (20):
7659–7664. Bibcode:2012PNAS..109.7659V. doi:10.1073/pnas.1117262109.
PMC 3356651 . PMID 22547792.
^ The lithospheric roots in South Africa, Australia, and Antarctica
are 300 to 180 kilometres (190 to 110 mi) thick. (Kumar et al.
2007) See also Kumar et al. 2007, figure 1
^ Meert, J.G.; Tamrat, Endale (2006). "Paleomagnetic evidence for a
stationary Marion hotspot: Additional paleomagnetic data from
Gondwana Research. 10: 340–348.
^ Schulte, Peter; et al. (5 March 2010). "The Chicxulub Asteroid
Impact and Mass Extinction at the Cretaceous-Paleogene Boundary".
Science. AAAS. 327 (5970): 1214–1218. Bibcode:2010Sci...327.1214S.
doi:10.1126/science.1177265. ISSN 1095-9203. PMID 20203042.
Retrieved 5 March 2010.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Indian tectonic plate.
Aitchison, Jonathan C.; Ali, Jason R.; Davis, Aileen M. (2007). "When
and where did
India and Asia collide?". Journal of Geophysical
Research. 112 (B5). Bibcode:2007JGRB..11205423A.
doi:10.1029/2006JB004706. ISSN 0148-0227. Retrieved January 12,
Chen, Ji (January 4, 2005). "Magnitude 9.0 off W coast of northern
Sumatra Sunday, December 26, 2004 at 00:58:49 UTC: Preliminary rupture
model". U.S. Geological Survey. Archived from the original on March 5,
2005. Retrieved 28 December 2004.
Kind, Rainer (September 2007). "The fastest continent: India's
truncated lithospheric roots". Helmholtz Association of German
Research Centres. Retrieved January 2012. Check date values in:
Kumar, Prakash; Yuan, Xiaohui; Kumar, M. Ravi; Kind, Rainer; Li,
Xueqing; Chadha, R. K. (18 October 2007). "The rapid drift of the
Indian tectonic plate". Nature. 449 (7164): 894–897.
ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 17943128.
Scotese, Christopher R. (January 2001). "The collision of
Asia (90 mya — present)". Paleomap Project. Retrieved 28
Geography of India
Geology of India
Autonomous administrative divisions
States and territories
Geography of Sri Lanka
Bay of Bengal
Gulf of Mannar
Juan de Fuca
Philippine Mobile Belt
List of tectonic plates
Notable Himalayan quakes
1505 Lo Mustang earthquake
April 2015 Nepal
May 2015 Nepal
Geology of the Himalayas
Himalayan Frontal Fault
North Himalayan Normal Fault
Coordinates: 34°25′55″N 73°32′13″E / 34.43194°N
73.53694°E / 34.43194; 73.53694