How does a continental plate move around? How would it suddenly accelerate?
Why did Madagascar not continue drifting with the Indian plate continent?
More than 140 million years ago, India was part of an immense super-continent called Gondwana, which covered much of the Southern Hemisphere. Around 120 million years ago, what is now India broke off and started slowly migrating north, at about 5 centimetres per year. Then, about 80 million years ago, the continent suddenly sped up, racing north at about 15 centimetres per year, about twice as fast as the fastest modern tectonic drift.
How India slammed into Eurasia at record speed | Asian Age
India, after breaking away from supercontinent Gondwana – which also comprised present day Madagascar, Arabia, Africa and South America – started drifting at a remarkable speed around 120 million years ago. Moving at a speed of 40mm or 1.57 inches per year about 80 million years ago, India suddenly accelerated to 150mm or 5.9 inches per year and continued at the same pace for 30 million years till it collided with Eurasia and gave rise to the Himalayas.
... “When you look at simulations of Gondwana breaking up, India comes slowly off of Antarctica, and suddenly it just zooms across,” said Royden.
Crash into Eurasia: India moved at 5.9 inches/yr, say geologists | Hindustan Times
Two super-fast conveyor belts of sinking crust explain why India set a continental speed record as it crashed into Eurasia, according to a new study.
The Indian Plate slammed into Eurasia 40 million years ago, raising the Himalayas and Mount Everest, the study's researchers explained. The new analysis suggests India raced toward the collision starting 80 million years ago because of two short subduction zones, one in front of the other, that emerged between the tectonic plates.
Crash! How India Slammed into Eurasia at Record Speed | Live Science
The new research shows that 50 million years ago, India was travelling northwards at speeds of some 15 centimetres a year, close to the plate tectonic speed limit. Soon after it slammed into Eurasia crustal stresses along the mid-ocean ridge between India and Antarctica intensified to breaking point.
Himalayas were born 47 million years ago | Asian Age