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Crustal melting and the flow of mountains

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

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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.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2011 Mineralogical Society of America
ISSN: 1811-5217
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetNSERC
Not SetNot SetNERC (Natural Environment Research Council)
Not SetNot SetDFG
Keywords: crustal melting; mountain belts; ductile flow; melt-weakening, channel flow
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Environment, Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 29174
Depositing User: Nigel Harris
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2011 14:21
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2018 10:06
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