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Continental tectonics, and the formation of mountain belts, do not adhere to the plate tectonic paradigm (19). Mountain belts at plate boundaries are areas of diffuse deformation in which geologists have recognized that not only are the plates not rigid (12), but parts of the lithosphere (e.g. upper crust) are moving laterally with respect to other parts (e.g. lower crust), such as in thrust belts (4). An exciting development in tectonics is the detailed investigation of the behaviour of continental crust during orogenesis. In particular, the role of...

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