Scientists Uncover Massive Country Splitting in Two

Scientists Uncover Massive Country Splitting in Two

A research indicated that the plate beneath India was dividing.

Research indicates that the tectonic plate under India may be splitting in two.

is ranked as the seventh largest country globally, falling behind countries such as , Brazil, and the US.

The area is estimated to be about 3.287 million square kilometers. If split vertically, it would create two countries, each similar in size to Mongolia.

However, it is not believed that India will divide vertically. Instead, scientists suggest that it may undergo horizontal shearing.

The theory was initially introduced at the December 2023 American Geophysical Union conference.

The , named ‘Slab tearing and delamination of the Indian lithospheric mantle during flat-slab subduction, southeast Tibet', investigates the creation of the Himalayas.

The Himalaya is a mountain range that stretches across five countries: India, Pakistan, Nepal, , and Bhutan. According to the Geological , the collision between the Indian Plate and Eurasian Plate, which started 50 million years ago, is responsible for the formation of the Himalayan mountain range and Tibetan plateau. This collision is still ongoing today.

Scientists Uncover Massive Country Splitting in Two

Researchers looked at the plates underneath the Himalaya. (/ Nazim Ali Khan/ NurPhoto)

Lin Liu, Danian Shi, Simon L Klemperer, and their team conducted a study on the helium levels in Tibetan springs. They also proposed a fresh theory regarding the plates beneath the mountain range.

The research discovered that helium levels were greater in southern Tibet when compared to northern Tibet, indicating that the Indian tectonic plate is dividing beneath the Tibetan plateau.

The Indian Plate was analyzed using ‘3D S-wave receiver-functions' in the study.

The receiver function method utilizes from teleseismic earthquakes to create images of the 's structure and its internal boundaries.

The research findings, published in ESS Open Archive, show that our 3D S-wave receiver-functions have uncovered a new orogon-perpendicular tearing or warping of the Indian Plate.

Scientists Uncover Massive Country Splitting in Two

The study focused on the Indian and Eurasian tectonic plates. (Getty Images/ DEA / D'ARCO EDITORI/De Agostini)

An image seemed to indicate that the upper and lower slabs of the Indian Plate were separating.

The Indian Plate is believed to be ‘underplating' or ‘subducting' beneath a ‘mantle wedge'.

The research finds that our SRFs accurately chart depths to separate Indian and Tibetan lithosphere-asthenosphere boundaries in a large area of south-eastern Tibet.

The suggested boundary separating the two lithospheres is supported by subjective mapping of altering SWS parameters, as well as separate interpretations of the mantle suture based on mantle degassing patterns and the uppermost limit of sub-Moho earthquakes.

Essentially, this implies that the Indian Plate would split into two pieces instead of breaking into two.


Image Credit: Observer/Universal Images Group via Getty Images / DESHAKALYAN CHOWDHURY/AFP via Getty Images

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