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Stewart Green

Mount Everest Geology: Astounding Facts

By October 31, 2012

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The geology of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world at 29,035-foot (8,850-meter), is as fascinating as its human climbing history. The mountain, straddling the Tibet and Nepal border in central Asia, is part of the Himalaya mountains, a growing mountain range which formed when the Indian subcontinental plate rammed into the solid Asian plate. The extremely slow collusion has pushed lighter rocks like limestone up to the highest heights.

One of the most interesting facts about Mount Everest's geology is that it's uppermost limestone layers, called the Qomolangma Formation, was actually deposited over 400-million-years ago on the bottom of an ocean. The rock layer is studded with ancient fossils, including trilobites and crinoids, which roamed the warm water.

Now, through the Himalayan uplift, those same sediments from the sea floor have been pushed up to the roof of the world at almost 30,000 feet, making the relief between deposition and its current exposure almost 50,000 feet--an astounding movement of the earth's crust!

Read more about the area's interesting and unique geology by reading the new article Geology of Mount Everest.

Photograph above: The geology of Mount Everest is a fascinating study. Photograph courtesy Pavel Novak/Wikimedia Commons.


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