Did you know that there was no Mount Everest millions of years ago? Even the Great Himalayas wasn’t in existence. However, today we are blessed enough to see the glory of these mighty beauties.
So, how was Mount Everest formed, you might ask?
The movement of tectonic plates formed Mount Everest and the Great Himalayan Range. In addition, all of the surfaces of the Earth are a mixture of a series of tectonic plates. And these plates move around, often creating various forms of landmasses such as a mountain.
How Was Mount Everest Formed: The History
Long ago, when Dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, a plate called the Indo-Australian plate started to move. The plate was going to the North.
Then, around fifty million years ago, the Indo-Australian plate, which also included the Indian continent, collided with the vast Eurasian continent. In addition, the process of the collision started to thicken and squash the edges of the Indo-Australian plate.
As a result of the large-scale and violent collision, buckling on the landform took place, eventually forming the Himalayas. The Himalayas is a massive range of mountains that stretches around 2,414 km and contains some of the world’s tallest mountains.
Now, do you think that after the formation of Mount Everest, a part of the Himalayas, the Indo-Australian plate stopped moving? That might be wrong because this heated plate is still moving North. The movements are taking the stunning country, India, with it and causing the heights of the tall mountains to increase. As a result, this means that the Himalayas’ mountains, including Mount Everest, continue to grow and be more elevated.
Also, seven giant plates are sliding across the Earth’s surface and a few smaller ones. Right now, they move at only 1 to 15 centimeters per year. The collision, sliding, and receding process is still happening today. Internal heat deep below the Earth propels the movement of tectonic plates and can only effectively escape by convection. Since they are less dense, hot currents of gas or liquid are forced upward by convection, while cold fluid winds are forced downward by convection.
See also: Are the Himalayas Growing or Shrinking?
What Formed Mount Everest: The Composition
Have you ever wondered what formed Mount Everest? What makes this vast mass the tallest mountain in the world? What is the composition of Mount Everest?
Then, we are here to answer all your questions. Metamorphic rocks are also known as schists, and they form Mount Everest. In addition, Everest mainly consists of mottled gray rocks on the ocean floor, which were once, believe it or not.
Schists or metamorphic rocks first started as mud and sand. But, because of the movement of the Indo-Australian plate, these sands and muds crystallized and became the way they are today. These rocks then formed the mountain and came so high up due to the slow motion of the tectonic plates.
Also, you can find massive granite bands as you move high up Mount Everest. In addition, near the summit of Mount Everest, the rocks are sedimentary in nature. A few meters near Everest’s summit, a place called Yellow Band has a layer of limestone, sandstone, and shale made out of animal remains, clay, and marine slits. The components of the Yellow Band were once deep in the ocean, which separated India from Asia before the Indo-Australian plate collision happened. But these components were lifted more than 8,000 meters above sea level after the crash.
What Formed Mount Everest: The Composition Of The Peak
The shape of Mount Everest’s summit is a vast triangular pyramid. Scientists call this type of triangular-shaped summit a horn or pyramidal peak. In addition to its exciting shape, the peak has three knife-edged ridges running down from it, called arêtes.
Also, Mount Everest’s summit is made out of many sandy and limestone layers. So when you climb Mount Everest and reach the summit, you are standing on the dead bodies of many primitive marine plants and animals.
When Was Mount Everest Formed: The Estimate
While asking how Mount Everest formed, one also becomes interested in the date of Everest’s formation. You see, the appearance of Mount Everest began around two hundred million years ago. When a supercontinent, Pangea, consisting of India, Africa, Australia, and South America, began to split into pieces, the journey of formation of Mount Everest started.
Then, India began to cross the equator at a rate as high as 15 cm per year. During this process, India started closing an ocean called Tethys, which separated the various fragments of Pangea.
Do you want to know what happened to Tethys? Well, the ocean doesn’t exist anymore. Sadly we will never see the sea from which Mount Everest was formed.
How Was Mount Everest Formed: The Continuous Growth Of Everest
The collision between tectonic plates never stops. They are still happening today. And sometimes, the tectonic plate collision is too strong, and as a result, they cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
In addition, India is still moving in the North direction every year. And scientists say that with these continuous movements, collisions may also be frequent, causing the mountains to grow at least ten millimeters per year. These growths are most likely in the northwestern part of the Great Himalayan range. Also, experts expect Everest to develop a millimeter per year. Also, with the rate with which India is moving, it might even collide with Tibet as further as 180 kilometers.
But sometimes, even though mountains are likely to grow taller, they might shrink too.
Erosions usually cause a decrease in a mountain’s height. Water and wind may scour, and sediments may get washed away toward a mountain’s bed, eventually leading up to a river. The Brahmaputra and the Ganges river flows away most of the debris from the Himalayas. Also, gravity controls the height of the mountains.
So, in conclusion, Everest is likely to grow taller every year, but actions such as erosion can reduce its height. However, Everest has grown as its height used to be 8848 meters, and now it stands at a stunning height of 8849 meters.
How Was Mount Everest Formed: The Unlikely Disappearance
Nepal shares its border with the Himalayas and the vast plain of India, and since we are measuring the convergence of Nepal, did you know that Nepal may cease to exist? Don’t worry. The disappearance of the gorgeous country Nepal won’t happen immediately but will likely occur in a few million years.
However, the Himalayas and Mount Everest will remain.
The reason behind the immortality of Mount Everest and other mountains is that they are likely to look the same. The North side will still be blessed with taller mountains, while the Southern side will still have shorter ones. Also, the north-to-south overall width of the Great Himalayas will likely be the same.
So, what will actually happen?
Well, what will happen is that Mount Everest and the Himalayas will go across the Indian plate and the Tibetan plateau, and their height may grow due to accretion. The rate at which Himalayan sediments advanced over the Ganges plain provided one of the few hints concerning the collision rate between India and Tibet before GPS data.
In addition, there is evidence of sediment progression at the foothills of the mountains. Scientists say that large rocks came first, followed by pebbles, and down south. Then the sand grains, silts, and very fine mud arrived. You will see these things when you drive from the last hills of the Himalayas southward 100 km.
The present is evident, but the past is hidden beneath the sediments, which have buried any signs of preceding deposits. Yet, drill holes in the Ganges plain consistently demonstrate that the Himalayas are persistently encroaching on India because the coarser rocks are always on top. The finer pebbles and mud are on the bottom.
So, we have finally answered the question of how Mount Everest formed. The process has taken millions of years and will change each year rapidly. Who knows what will happen to Mount Everest shortly?