14 Sep 2020 Peak Climbing Nepal
How old is Mount Everest? Mount Everest (8848 m), the tallest mountain peak in the world is quite popular among avid mountaineers and trekkers. Hundreds of climbers make it to this spectacular mountain peak to record their names in history books every year. Besides that, trekkers also flock the Everest region to go on a stunning adventure in the Himalayan foothills.
Millions of years ago, there was no Mount Everest or any other Himalayan range of mountains. Then, how was Mount Everest formed? According to the theory of plate tectonics, Mount Everest was formed under the cofunction of continental shuffle, natural forces, and mountain formation mechanics.
Mount Everest is a part of the Mahalangur Himalayan range, and its age is the same as that of the Himalayas. But how old is Mount Everest and what is its geological age? You might wonder. This article will provide you with all details regarding age, and formation of Mount Everest.
Read further to know more about how old is Mount Everest and other relevant information in detail.
Table of Contents
Around 250 million years ago, Indian, Africa, South America, and Australia continents were not separated and were collectively called Pangea. During the next few million years, “Pangea” or the giant continent broke up and slowly formed the continents. In this process, the edges of Pangea became the new continents’ collision zones.
According to a study, the collision of the Indian and the Eurasian plate gave birth to the Himalayas around 40 million to 50 million years ago. This geological period is commonly known as Eocene Epoch. The collision also led to extraordinary geologic results like the creation of the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau.
This process also changed the global climatic condition by alternating the weathering patterns. The carbon transfer rate to the atmosphere and the wind circulation also changed immensely. Moreover, the collusion made changes in the productivity pattern of the oceanic region by increasing erosion and the nutrient runoff to the Indian Ocean.
There was “Tethys” ocean between these two Plates. The Ocean Indian Plate collision with China’s Tibet started at least 80 million years ago. The north edge of the Ocean Indian Plate plunged into the Earth’s mantle and dragged the whole Indian continent towards China’s Tibet.
Around 55 million years ago, The Tethys Ocean was completely closed in as two plates collided. The ocean floor sediment squeezed, and lightweight sediments crumpled into the Himalayas mountain ranges. The massive collision led to the formation of Mount Everest, along with the entire Himalayan range.
The plates collided, and the ocean floor sank. The collision generated volcanoes in Tibet as the top rock of the Indian plate melted due to the high friction and pressure. There are fossils found in the Himalaya sedimentary rocks that provide the fact that the Himalayas were once an ancient seabed.
About ten million years ago, there started a direct collision between the Indian continent and the Asian continent. Enormous light quartz-rich rocks of the Indian continent could not descend which broke its anchor and the Indian continent ceased descending anymore.
However, the Indian Plate is still moving towards the Tibetan Plateau at a speed of 67mm per year. This Tibet Plateau is moving upwards and the height of Mount Everest is increasing gradually as well.
It was previously concluded that Mount Everest’s age was around 55 million years as this collision dates back to 55 million years. However, newer studies also provide proof of a mountain range that dates back to 500 million years. While the Indian plate and Eurasian plate collided to form a mountain range around 55 million years ago. The geological age of Mount Everest is around 500 million years.
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The collision or shuffling of continents formed a supercontinent called, “Pangaea.” Pangaea also broke off several million years later and led to the creation of other continents. The Indo-Australian Plate started to move gradually northwards to the Eurasian Plate around 70 million years ago.
The movement of the Indo-Australian Plate was at a rate of 15cm northwards per year. Finally, the Indian plate and Eurasian plate collided to form the Himalayan mountain range around 55 million years ago. Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world was also formed around the same time. We hope you learned about how old is Mount Everest through this article.