The Himalayas are among the youngest mountain ranges on the planet and consist mostly of uplifted sedimentary and metamorphic rock. According to the modern theory of plate tectonics, their formation is a result of a continental collision or progeny along the convergent boundary between the Indo-Australian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. Such a formation is referred to as a "fold mountain." The Pakistani Himalayas were formed as a result of the collision of the Indian subcontinent with Asia. This process of plate tectonics is ongoing, and the gradual northward drift of the Indian subcontinent still causes earthquakes. Nanga Parbat stands on the southern tectonic plate, while Rakaposhi stands on the northern plate with the Indus River dividing the two. While the Himalayas formed relatively slowly, the Karakoram were rapidly pushed upwards, resulting in their comparatively dense topography.

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