Geological History Of India

Geological History Of India

India is a land of great antiquity. The Peninsula is a stable mass of pre-Cambrian rock that in places has been dated to 3.5 thousand million years before the present (Krishnan 1974). The surface landforms have been heavily eroded and are generally of low relief, although there are remnant mountains in the form of the Ghats and Satpuras. In addition, the Deccan has achieved a higher relief because of a considerable thickness of lava bedding from cretaceous volcanic events.

The Peninsula is the oldest part of the Indian region and once formed a landmass independent of Asia. This 'Proto-India' was formerly united with Madagascar, Africa and Antarctica in the ancient southern landmass known as Gondwanaland. For many millions of years, this landmass that was to become India was geographically more closely allied to Africa than Asia being separated from the latter by the Tethys Sea, which formed a water barrier of more than 1000 kilometres.

As Gondwanaland broke apart in the late Mesozoic, 'proto-India' gradually separated from East Africa. The collision of the northward-moving Indian mass with continental Asia created the Himalayan chain. Peninsular subduction-the down-thrust of 'proto-India' under the Asian landmass-also produced the massive uplifted Tibetan Plateau- the cold desert that is the earth's highest plateau. All of these cataclysmic changes in the placement and topography of major land-masses occurred very recently, relative to the age of the main body of India. And change continues.

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