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A recent science paper, The facts and fictions of the Oceanic Tethys concept, explores the history of the changing thoughts concerning the Tethys Ocean, an ancient seaway that existed millions of years ago. The freely available paper, written by Zahid Khan and Ram Tewari, appeared in a November 2016 edition of the SCIREA Journal of Geosciences.

The authors begin by describing the historical development of the current view of Tethys as an ancient wide ocean that divided the ancient Panagea into two large continents of Laurasia and Gondwa. The concept of a smaller Tethys Sea began with Eduard Suess in the late 1800s when he coined the term Tethys and Gondwanaland. By 1937 Du Toit had suggested that an ocean sized Tethys had separated Gondwanaland from Laurasia. Later the term Pangaea was resurrected and the Tethys became a triangular wedge-shaped ocean, wider than the present-day Atlantic, separating Laurasia and Gondwanaland. This is the concept still widely adopted today.

On the other hand the authors note that this view seems to be discredited since “by Middle Permian the fauna of the Himalaya and Tibet are so similar … that the wide Tethyan gulf of many reconstructions … hardly seems possible.”

Observant readers will have noted that this is just one of a series of science articles published by the same authors over the second half of 2016. These science papers have now appeared in the science periodicals of the Journal of Applied Geology and Geophysics, Geosciences Research, as well as SCIREA Journal of Geosciences. Surprisingly, the popular scientific press don’t seem to have picked up on these articles but perhaps this is because they like simple sound bites and the scientific concepts are probably too difficult for them to cover.

Hopefully this wide circulation of scientific articles discussing the problems concerning the ancient Tethys Ocean will encourage other geologists to re-examine current theories about this fascinating region.

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References

Khan, Z. A., & Tewari, R. C. (2016). The facts and fictions of the Oceanic Tethys concept. SCIREA Journal of Geosciences.
Abstract & Free pdf

Khan, Z. A., & Tewari, R. C. (2016). A Critical Analysis of North-South Continuity of Landmasses across Indus-Yarlu-Tsangpo Suture Zone: Its Bearing on the Himalayan Evolution. Geosciences Research. Volume 1, Number 1. PP. 60-79, Pub. Date: November 28, 2016.
Abstract & Free pdf

Khan, Z.A., & Tewari, R.C. 2016. The Concept of Gondwanaland and Pangaea: A reappraisal. Journal of Applied Geology and Geophysics (IOSR-JAGG). Free pdf or Free pdf



Page first created   06 Jan 17
Page last updated  09 Jan 17
by Middle Permian the fauna of the Himalaya and Tibet are so similar … that the wide Tethyan gulf of many reconstructions … hardly seems possible.

Khan and Tewari

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