Himalayas – UPSC GS1

What is the Main Central Thrust in the Himalayas and how was it formed? Highlighting its significance examine why it was in news recently. (200 Words)

Main Central Thrust in Himalayas can be defined as the major geological fault where the Indian Plate has pushed under the Eurasian Plate along the Himalayas. Its formation can be explained by understanding the events that took place as the Indian plate that was previously the part of Gondwana Plate moved northwards. The Indian plate struck the Eurasian plate causing the upliftment of previously sedimentary land under Tythes sea. Thus the Himalayas were formed as the folding effect due to the impact of the collision. In the process the Indian Plate had subducted a little below the Eurasian Plate. This lead to the formation of a fault zone along the length of present day Himalayas i.e. approximately 2200km of locking zone.
Significance: The Main Central Thrust is the geological fault where the two plates have been locked. This interaction has made it an active dynamic zone. Though there is absence of volcanic activity in this part, the fault line is prone to regular earthquakes. Another important result of its dynamic activity is seen in the ever increasing height of the young Himalayas.
The Main Central thrust was in news recently due to destructive earthquake of 7.8 magnitude that has struck the region, the focus of which was traced near Kathmandu. Nepal lies along this zone of convergence making the country prone to severe earthquakes. Apart from the mass destruction caused by this recent earthquake, it is said to have unlocked/weakened the locking between the Indian and Eurasian plates. This has increased the probability of another severe earthquake striking anytime in the future due to reduced locking leading to increased mobility between the plates. The building engineers thus would require giving extra attention to the building’s ability to survive such severe shocks.



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