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Tibetan Plateau May Be Older Than Previously Thought

[WTN-L World Tibet Network News. Published by The Canada Tibet Committee. Issue ID: 2004/10/08; October 8, 2004.]

BEIJING, Oct 6 (AFP) - The Tibetan plateau, so far considered a relatively recent addition to the earth's geology, may in fact be much older than previously thought, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported Wednesday.

Chinese scientists are challenging the conventional view that the Tibetan mountains only started forming 50 to 65 million years ago when the Indian subcontinent, then a huge island, slowly pushed northwards into Asia, it said.

Rather, the "roof of the world" may have been present in embryonic form as early as 140 million years ago, Xinhua news agency said, citing evidence that the area started rising at this early date.

What happened when the Indian subcontinent hit Asia was that the Tibetan plateau, then an existing mountain range, was pushed even higher to form the current impressive Himalayan region, the agency said.


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