Analogue models of continental convergence inspire a new interpretation of the deep-seismic profile across the Central Alps, the classical collision belt of Western Europe. We conclude that active mountain-building processes involve wedging and crustal buckling and that seismic information does not reflect subduction-related orogeny, but documents recent crustal shortening. We also infer that present-day subduction of the delaminated European mantle lithosphere takes place below the northern side of the mountain belt.

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