WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO INDIA 65
Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory claims that India (the
Deccan traps, specifically) was located at the antipode of the Chicxulub
impact. Then the Indian continent moved to the north and collided with Asia.
Before we examine the path of the Indian continent on its journey
northward, we must deal with the biggest obstacle that exists for understanding
this entire scenario. This obstacle is the perceived location of India 65 MYA.
The Standard Theory shows India to have been approximately 4,000 miles
to the east of where the antipode of the Chicxulub impact would have been 65
The website www.platetectonics.com shows a map that illustrates
the path of India according to the Standard Theory. 3 pg 11
According to the map, India started out much farther to the south and west
(originally attached to Australia and Antarctica as part of Pangaea 250 MYA)
and then moved up in almost a straight line (and in its present shape) to its
present day location.
According to the Standard Theory:
"About 220 million years ago, India was an island
situated off the Australian coast (author's note: At that time, Australia and
Antarctica were supposedly attached to Africa and much more to the west than
they are now), and separated from the Asian continent by a vast ocean called
the Tethys Sea. When Pangaea broke apart about 200 million years ago, India
began to move northward." 3 pg 11
according to the Standard Theory, while Australia was moving east, India was
Further, the Standard Theory states that the huge
volcanism seen at the Deccan traps in India was a result of the Indian
subcontinent passing over the Reunion Island hotspot off the coast of Africa
approximately 65 MYA. And the reason for India moving northeast and crashing
"The mid-ocean ridge visible in the lower left of
the image is largely responsible for India's northerly movement."
The logic of the Standard Theory is as
1. We know that India was next to Australia and
Antarctica just off Africa 250 MYA because unique fossils and plant pollen from
that time are found only in these three places.
2. We know where India
is located now.
3. If we draw a relatively straight line between
India's position 250 MYA and now, it could have passed over the Reunion Island
hotspot approximately 65 MYA
So, what's wrong with that?
DEBUNKING THE STANDARD THEORY
There are several physical reasons and one big theoretical reason why
the Standard Theory does not stand up to close examination.
Dr. Hetu C.
Sheth of the Department of Earth Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology
in Mumbai, India has examined the physical evidence and has found several areas
1. No Domal Uplift If the huge lava
deposits at the Deccan traps in India were the result of the Indian
subcontinent riding over a mantle plume, then the underlying rock should show
long-term domal uplift at or near the site. It doesn't. Dr. Sheth reports:
"The flatness of the pre-Deccan landscape
constructed on various older rocks in central India, the horizontality of the
Deccan basalt flows over long distances, and laterites found on the pre-Deccan
landscape, together form compelling evidence for pre-Deccan planation surfaces
and long-term tectonic stability prior to the eruptions. This, along with a
near-universal absence of indicators of pre-eruption uplift throughout the
province, runs counter to the idea that a large plume head produced regional
domal uplift, the current drainage pattern and Deccan flood basalt volcanism."
10 pg 13
This lack of domal uplifting just doesn't
occur if a plate is riding over a plume in the usual scenario. Dr. Sheth notes:
"Significant domal uplift (1-4 km depending on
parameters such as plume temperature) is predicted 10-20 million years before
flood volcanism." 10 pg 2
This is a fatal blow to
the standard plume theory for the Deccan traps. There should be domal uplift,
but there isn't any. Therefore, the Deccan traps would have to be explained in
another way. Dr. Sheth offers large-scale plate dynamics as a possible
solution. However, he does note that the shape of the Deccan traps (almost
circular) and the huge volume of flood basalt lava in a short-term eruption
period (half a million to a million years) is more compatible with a plume head
2. Western Side Volcanism Dr. Sheth
reports that the entire western side of India (along the Western Ghats
mountains) is underlain with basaltic lava. The lava is oldest at the Deccan
traps (65 MYA) and it ends near the southern tip of India, around 60 MYA.
However there is some volcanism back up near the Deccan traps (about 600 miles
north of the tip) dated at 60.5 MYA. There are no seamounts extending in to the
sea from the southern tip of India, despite the fact that the volcanic
underlayment at the tip was still substantial. 9 What kind of plume
does this? Not any Standard Theory plume.
3. Initial Volcanism Latitude
According to Dr. Sheth, the Reunion Island hotspot is located at 21
degrees south latitude. The lava at the Deccan traps was formed at
approximately 30 degrees south latitude. The Standard Theory sees hotspots as
fixed in the mantle. The Standard Theory does not explain this paradox in any
satisfactory way. 9 pg 10
In addition to these
physical reasons that argue against the Standard Theory's version of the
position and voyage of the Indian subcontinent from 65 MYA to the present,
there is also one big theoretical reason that argues against it.
big theoretical reason for revising the Standard Theory is the competing
theoretical model put forward in this book. While both theories represent
possible geological histories of India, Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory's version
has several advantages.
These advantages are:
1. It answers the objections raised by Dr.
Sheth, and, in fact, offers explanations for his findings.
2. It is
verified by an abundant trail of physical evidence left behind during the
Indian continent's 65 million year journey.
EXPLAINING THE EVIDENCE
First, let's take a look at the objections that Dr. Sheth raises
concerning the Standard Theory and compare how these objections relate to the
model described by Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory.
1. No Domal Uplift The fact that there is
no domed uplift at the site of the Deccan traps volcanism is exactly what we
would expect to see with this new theory. The cosmic impact at Chicxulub would
have sent cataclysmic waves of earthquakes rumbling through the lithosphere.
Because the Earth is spherical in shape, these quakes would all have met at the
antipode of the impact site and pulverized the rock in that area. This
pulverized rock would have offered no frictional or shear resistance to the
pressurized magma rushing to the surface and spewing forth. There would be no
reason for doming. The hole should be roughly circular, which Dr. Sheth says it
was. Furthermore, because the pressurized magma would rise in a plume, it would
not be surprising that the result would have the characteristics of a plume
head eruption. Thus, we would expect that there would be no doming effect.
2. Western Side Volcanism The western side volcanism would be
the logical result of the Indian continent moving northwest over the much
slower moving hotspot in the next several million years following the Chicxulub
impact. The hotspot would still be emitting lava as it cut through the
lithosphere like a plasma torch. However, the speed of the continent would be
so great that the hotspot could not create enough pressure to break through the
the western side of India's surface would not be all fractured
like the rock at the antipodal area and the surface would move by too quickly.
Just like the Hawaiian Islands' hotspot, which can erupt on three
different islands at once (including the new one under the sea), the even
bigger and more active Indian hotspot could spew lava all along its cut trench
as the Indian continent began to pull away from it.
Therefore, there is
no problem having lava near Mumbai (just south of the Deccan traps) dated to
60.5 MYA and lava at the tip of India at 60 MYA. Once the Indian continent
pulled away from the hotspot, the hotspot would begin creating its own set of
known today as Indonesia.
Furthermore, this new
scenario even explains the timing of the tilted uplift of the western side of
India, prior to the raising up of the Western Ghats mountains. Dr. Sheth notes
the strange phenomenon that the rivers in the Indian peninsula all drain from
the west to the east. He speaks of the findings of others:
the drainage developed subsequent to
the eruption of the Deccan lavas. The newly formed lava field could have had a
regional eastward slope. However, they also noted that the drainage is
antecedent (prior to) the uplift of the Sahydri Range (part of the Western
Ghats)." 10 pg 6
This eastern drainage would
occur because of the uplift caused by the subsurface lava emitted by the
slower-moving hotspot as the faster continent began to outdistance it. The
hotspot would have systematically uplifted the western edge as the edge moved
over that hotspot.
The raising of the western mountain ranges comes
much later, when the Indian continent, after running into extreme resistance
from the Himalayan highlands in the east, shifted to the northwest where there
was less resistance. Naturally, the tail of the Indian continent followed
along, and raised up the Western Ghats mountains as it plowed into the oceanic
plate on its western side.
3. Initial Volcanism Latitude Dr.
Sheth states that the volcanism at the Deccan Traps occurred at approximately
30ºS latitude. 9 pg 10 I do not know how accurate this finding
is, nor do I know the exact latitude for the Chicxulub impact 65 MYA.
However, it is not difficult to create a model that meets these
criteria, as I have done in the illustrations at the end of Chapter 2.2 in
Section II of this book. These illustrations show the more speculative version,
but they could be easily modified to fit the "safe, conservative" version.
At this point, I must remind the reader that we are
illustrating the "safe, conservative" version of what happened to India. In
this version, India is an island continent that travels east with Australia and
Antarctica, beginning as a result of the break up of Pangaea from around 200
MYA to 65 MYA.
In this "safe, conservative" version, the only
difference between the Standard Theory and Ben's Antipodal Impact Theory is the
idea that this island continent of India is located at the antipode of the
Chicxulub impact 65 MYA, instead of being located more than 4,000 miles away,
off the coast of Africa 65 MYA.
Section II will introduce a more
radical, but more comprehensively explanatory version of the creation and
movement of India 65 MYA. This more radical version will include the creation
of an Indian tectonic plate during antipodal mantle plume uplift, as well as
the idea of directed motion of that tectonic plate, imbued by that same plume.
However, in the case of the "safe, conservative" version of this
theory, we will assume that India is merely an island continent and that it
moves north for reasons of its own (exactly as does the Standard Theory), but
that it starts from a position that is approximately 4,000 miles away from the
Standard Theory's location 65 MYA.
As India moves north (in my "safe,
conservative" version) from its location at antipode of the Chicxulub impact,
it leaves behind evidence of its passing. This evidence includes:
1. Sunda Trench Created as the Indian
continent (moving north but arcing to the east due to the coriolis effect)
rubbed up against the Asian plate and then pulled away as the tail of India
came by later.
2. Java & Sumatra Pushed up land along the
central and eastern parts of Java and Sumatra dating to approximately 60 MYA,
whereas the western sides of these islands are mostly the creation of volcanism
as the hotspot traveled along that edge.
It should be noted
that India's movement as presented by the Standard Theory does not leave any
evidence. Nor does it answer Dr. Hetu Sheth's objections listed