The Brie Cheese Effect

To explain the growth of the Himalayan mountains tens of millions of years ago, geologists turn to an unlikely analogy: oozing brie cheese.

Cheese_mould_photo2If the thick, firm mold on a wheel of brie represents the rocky surface of the high Tibetan Plateau, deep below the rock is more like soft cheese, capable of flowing under pressure or when heated (by the Earth's interior). "It's like you put that into your microwave and turned it up just a bit," geologist Kip Hodges explained to National Geographic. "It doesn't melt, but it begins to flow." The softer rock slowly oozes through the crust and onto the surface, adding new layers, and therefore new height, to the mountains.


 





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