Extensional deformation is commonly considered most important for exhuming rocks from great depths. However, the necessary space for extending the lithosphere is usually lacking. We show that significant exhumation of (U)HP rocks occurs in extrusion wedges, which have a normal fault at their top and a thrust fault at their base. The normal fault at the top of an extrusion wedge is a geometric effect and does not result from lithospheric extension. Therefore, the exhumation of (U)HP rocks in extrusion wedges allows substantial exhumation beneath a normal fault during horizontal shortening and does not cause lithospheric attenuation.

You do not currently have access to this article.