Ancient Tibet : research materials from the Yeshe de by Yeshe De Project, Yeshe De Project Staff

By Yeshe De Project, Yeshe De Project Staff

Octavo. colour illustrated wraps. xi, 371 pp, illustrations. close to nice.

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As India moves north, pressing against Tibet, the plateau and Himalayas are pushed up. Published calculations state that the rate of increase varies from one to five inches per year. Other evidence of continuing crustal movements in Tibet includes deep fault zones, severe earthquakes, and unusual geothermal events, all topics discussed at the 1980 symposium. The continuing pressure between India and Tibet is thought to be related to earthquakes and plate movements throughout Asia, and studies of the structure of the plateau may shed light on plate tectonics in this half of the world.

But no evidence of ancient fish or amphibians has as yet been found in Tibet. There are abundant fossils of marine plants, however, which differ from region to region. Many researchers interpret the variations as evidence that cold water covered southem Tibet, while warm-water seas existed over the land destined to become northern Tibet. This fits with the view that southern Tibet was part of Gondwanaland, which was situated far to the south in the cold reaches of the southern hemisphere. SWAMPLAND OF DINOSAURS About 245 million years ago as Pangaea was forming, worldwide mass extinctions decreased the number of families of animals by half.

Lakes began drying out, however, as the plateau rose into drier air and the Himalayas became high enough to block moist winds from the south. Rings of strand lines can be seen around most lakes today, marking older, more extensive shorelines. Many lakes had been connected to rivers, but as the water level fell, strings of drying lakes were left behind. The lakes south of the Kun-luns may have belonged to the 'Bri-chu, and lakes between Pang-gong lake and the source of the Nag-chu may have been part of one river system.

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