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NCGT Journal March 2013

9 April 2013

In the latest issue of the New Concepts in Global Tectonics journal which can be accessed at www.ncgt.org and the articles are well worth browsing. In the letters section Vidyadhar Raiverman describes the treatment his two books have received from mainstream. These are about Himalayan mountain building processes. They have largely been ignored as his ideas do not fit into the consensus view. One editor in the US openly admitted four specialists refused to review the books as they did not want to upset the Plate Tectonics applecart. Another editor, in contrast, had clearly read the book in question as he said he appreciated the focus on data rather than theory.

Raiverman says mountain building involves substantial upwelling of magmatic material, batholithic emplacement and mantle diapirism, that elevates pieces of crust into mountains – vertical tectonics.

He also used radiometric geochronology as a tool in order to date crystaline rocks in the Karakoram, Kohistan-Ladekh, and the Himalayas. Radiometric geochronology, he says, is  a function of crustal uplift and the subsequent cooling of minerals. The two high ranges, the Karakoram and the High Himalayas sit on opposite sides of the Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone (ITSZ) and rose simultaneously, time precisioned by radiometric dating. Therefore, the ITSZ played no role, indicating there was no collision of plates causing upthrust. Mountain building was not as a result of plate tectonics.

This appears to be a very important point he is making and Raiverman is preparing a paper on the subject to be published by the Geological Society of India. Meanwhile, western geologists have become entrapped in the Plate Tectonics hypothesis and it is unlikely they will undertake research to see if a similar process was happening in the Alps or the Rockies.

Raiverman also dismisses the populist mainstream idea that global climate is affected by mountain  building episodes. Some other factor causes the climate to change, he maintains, and suggests astronomical influences are involved. In other words, the elevation of mountains did not create climate blocking systems. Such a role only happened after full elevation – and not during the process (so does that mean mountain building took place more quickly than Plate Tectonics theory allows?)

When discussing the positions of the Poles in the past he claims till deposits are one way of delineating glacial events and the fact such till occurs in Africa should tell us something important. He makes the suggestion, going out on a limb for a geologist, but one of the old school as he began his career in 1956, this explains why there is tropical geology denoting a very warm climate in the far north (such as secondary deposits of bauxite and laterite) in places such as Norway, France and the Urals. He suggests they were in a tropical zone prior to the K/T boundary (end of the Dinosaurs). He adds this idea may sound crazy but should not be rejected out of hand without investigation. Other geologists see these tropical markers as evidence of continental drift. However, drifting continents have been somewhat altered in the Plate Tectonics hypothesis and all is not as simple as it once appeared. Nowadays, geologists will tell you the Dinosaur era was all to do with global warming, an overload of co2, and this is why the Poles were near tropical. They will say this with a straight face.

Once the K/T boundary became associated with an asteroid (or comet) collision it gave rise to various similar interpretations, such as the end of Triassic event. Now, Raiverman is going out on a limb by suggesting there was a shift of the Poles, a sort of one-off event, but clearly if it happened on one occasion people will start looking for evidence of it happening on other occasions too.


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