3 Asia

 Asia

As the block consisting of Australia, India, and Southeast Asia slammed into Asia, Europe was being pulled away by North America.  The crustal wave, shown here in blue, is actually beneath the continents.  The collision with Asia shattered the block and built mountains.  The crustal wave split in two.  The collision sent Australia careening eastward.  As Asia moved north, more mountains grew and Japan was thrown outward, forming a trench.  Momentum drove India and Southeast Asia deeper into Asia, causing China to be pushed out.  Asia pivoted counterclockwise, driving Europe down and raising the Ural Mountains. 

 

This is the topography of the pivot area.

Southeast Asia collided with Asia along the Red River fault zone, which "is the major geological discontinuity that separates South China from Indochina."  As India drove into Asia, China was pushed to the east, sliding along the Red River fault zone.  "It is fair to say that this zone is to continental strike-slip faults what the Himalayas are to mountain ranges."
Leloup, Philippe Herve, Robin Lacassin, Paul Tapponnier, Urs Shaerer, Zhong Dalai, Liu Xiaohan, Zhang Liangshang, Ji Shaocheng, Phan Trong Trinh. 1995. The Ailao Shan-Red River shear zone (Yunnan, China), Tertiary transform boundary of Indochina. Tectonophysics, Vol. 251, pp. 3-84.

The formation of the Ural Mountains "involved large-scale (up to 100-150 km) westward overthrusting . . . This gave rise to the orogenic belt."
Kostiuchenko, S.L., A.V. Egorkin, L.N. Solodilov. 1998. The Lithospheric Structure beneath the Urals: Evidence from Multiwave Deep Seismic Sounding. Geotectonics, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 253-266.

South Asia is the most spectacular example in the world of continental collision and mountain building by collision.  Yet researchers are still wrestling with what happened there in the context of plate tectonics.  "Convergence between the Indian and Eurasian plates is estimated to be at least 1000-1400 km or as much as 2000-3000 km.  How this shortening has been accommodated is still not well known."1  One study found that continents riding on the 'plates' of plate tectonics are not very solid.  Using a precision radar-satellite method to measure deformation to within a few millimeters, researchers had these comments:

"Satellite measurements of the Tibetan Plateau suggest that when continents go head-to-head in mountain building, they can behave more like unbaked pizzas."  "The latest evidence for squishy continents comes from a satellite-borne technique called interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR)."  "The plateau, the researchers conclude, is yielding and deforming like so much putty." " 'In my view, there's no question,' says [Peter] Molnar [of Colorado U. - Boulder].  'Continental tectonics is not plate tectonics.' "  "The upper 100 kilometers of rock 'really looks like a fluid' in GPS maps of surface motion, says [Roger] Bilham [of Colorado U. - Boulder].  'It's as if India were colliding with a water bed.' "2
1.  Li, Chang, Robert D. van der Hilst, Anne S. Meltzer, E. Robert Engdahl. 2008. Subduction of the Indian lithosphere beneath the Tibetan Plateau and Burma. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 274, pp. 157-168.
2.  Kerr, Richard A. 9 July 2004. Hammered by India, Puttylike Tibet Shows Limits of Plate Tectonics. Science, Vol. 305, p. 161,
     Wright, Tim J., Barry Parsons, Philip C. England, Eric J. Fielding. 9 July 2004. InSAR Observations of Low Slip Rates on the Major Faults of Western Tibet. Science, Vol. 305, pp. 236-239.

Researchers using tomography to look deep below the surface found "that underthrusting of Indian lithosphere far beneath the Tibetan plateau is restricted to the western part of the collision zone."  Their "observations argue against significant underthrusting of the Indian lithospheric mantle beneath the eastern plateau", going "no further than the Himalayan Block" in the foothills of southern Tibet.
Li, Chang, Robert D. van der Hilst, Anne S. Meltzer, E. Robert Engdahl. 2008. Subduction of the Indian lithosphere beneath the Tibetan Plateau and Burma. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol. 274, pp. 157-168.