Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Role of gravity in orogenesis

Walter Hermann Bucher
Role of gravity in orogenesis
Bulletin of the Geological Society of America (October 1956) 67 (10): 1295-1318


In elastico-viscous materials, the concept of "viscosity" makes model experiments possible, since time appears in its definition as an independent dimension when gravity is the only force acting on the material in both nature and the laboratory. Stitching wax ("shoemaker's pitch") is discussed as a useful material for tectonic experiments. The limit of stress below which solid flow does not take place is very low in this material, permitting slopes of only a few degrees to be maintained. Material raised to greater relative elevations flattens under its own weight, as does ice in an ice cap. Laboratory experiments using stitching wax are described which show that such flattening produces superficial folding in stratified layers of the same material if zones of lower viscosity, such as petrolatum, are present among the layers. Good examples of disharmonious folding are figured.

ISSN: 1050-9747
Serial Title: Bulletin of the Geological Society of America
Serial Volume: 67
Serial Issue: 10
Title: Role of gravity in orogenesis
Pages: 1295-1318
Published: 195610
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
Accession Number: 1959-044749
Categories: Solid-earth geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Bibliography and Index of North American Geology, U. S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, United States
Update Code: 1959
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal