Tectonic mode switches and the nature of orogenesis
The birth and death of many mountain belts occurs in lithosphere that over-rides major subduction zones. Here the tectonic mode (shortening versus extension) can abruptly switch, even during continuous and otherwise smooth convergence. If the hinge line of the foundering slab rapidly retreats (i.e. rolls back), the foundering slab creates a gravitational potential well into which the orogen collapses. This motion, coupled with stress guides, can "pull" the orogen apart. A slowing of roll-back...[Show more]
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