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Crustal melting and the flow of mountains

Rebecca A. Jamieson, Martyn J. Unsworth, Nigel B. W. Harris, Claudio L. Rosenberg and Karel Schulmann
Crustal melting and the flow of mountains
Elements (August 2011) 7 (4): 253-260


As the continental crust thickens during mountain building, it can become hot enough to start melting, leading to a profound reduction in its strength. Melt-weakened crust can flow outward or upward in response to the pressure gradients associated with mountain building, and may be transported hundreds of kilometres laterally as mid-crustal channels. In the Himalayan-Tibetan system, melting began about 30 million years ago, and widespread granite intrusion began at 20-23 Ma. Geophysical data indicate that melt is present beneath the Tibetan plateau today, and deeply eroded mountain belts preserve evidence for melt-enhanced ductile flow in the past. Flow of partially molten crust may limit the thickness and elevation of mountain belts and has influenced the deep structure of continents.

ISSN: 1811-5209
Serial Title: Elements
Serial Volume: 7
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Crustal melting and the flow of mountains
Affiliation: Dalhousie University, Department of Earth Sciences, Halifax, NS, Canada
Pages: 253-260
Published: 201108
Text Language: English
Publisher: Mineralogical Society of America and Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland and Mineralogical Association of Canada and Geochemical Society and Clay Minerals Society, International
References: 32
Accession Number: 2011-069150
Categories: Solid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sects., geol. sketch maps
N24°00'00" - N40°00'00", E70°00'00" - E105°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Alberta, CAN, CanadaOpen University, GBR, United KingdomFreie Universitaet Berlin, DEU, GermanyUniversite Louis-Pasteur, FRA, France
Country of Publication: International
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, copyright, Mineralogical Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201138
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