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GEOL 102 Historical Geology

Spring Semester 2018
Every Mountain Shall Be Exalted...: Orogenesis I




The Andes Mountains near Quito, Ecuador

Orogenesis = Mountain Building

In pre-plate tectonics Geology, different models about mountain formation in different parts of the world. American geologists tended to think mountains formed at the edges of continents, while Eurasian geologists favored ideas where mountains built up in the interior.

Plate Tectonics gave a unified view of how mountains formed: it turns out both concepts were correct, to a certain degree!

Beneath the lithosphere a mantle plume heats up the material above, forming a divergent boundary. If underneath an ocean basin, forms a new mid-ocean ridge (go to 3 below); if underneath a continent, go to 1 below:

Different parts of the world reflect different parts of the cycle above:

Other types of tectonic activity in continental interiors, produced by stresses on margins: structural basins (downwarping) or domes (upwarping).

To Lecture Notes.

Last modified: 16 February 2018

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The Bighorn Mountains near Shell, WY