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Images: Moving Earth and Heaven

A view of Pangong Lake in the Ladakh region of northern India, taken at an altitude of 18,000 feet, shows the great expanse of the Tibetan Plateau extending high and flat in the background, as far as the eye can see. (Photo by Peter Clift, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Plateau—In the India-Asia collision, the Eurasian Plate was compressed and thickened to uplift the Tibetan Plateau. The bulk of the Indian Plate continues to be thrust under the Eurasian Plate, further uplifting Tibet. Slices of the Indian Plate were scraped off to form the Himalayas. (Jayne Doucette.)

An aerial view of the Ganges River Delta shows tons of sediments being poured into the northern Bay of Bengal off Bangladesh. (NASA)

Great rivers (the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Indus) transport large volumes of sediments from great mountains (the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush and the Karakoram) into the ocean. The Bengal Fan extends 2,500 kilometers south into the Bay of Bengal and is 22 kilometers thick. The Indus Fan is 10 kilometers thick and extends 1,000 to 1,500 kilometers into the Arabian Sea.