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TitleForce takes control in mountain-height debate [Mountain height might be controlled by tectonic force, rather than erosion]
AuthorWang, KORCID logo
SourceNature vol. 582, 2020 p. 189-190,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20200072
PublisherSpringer Nature
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
Subjectstectonics; structural geology; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; plate margins; subduction zones; tectonic environments; tectonic interpretations; orogenesis; bedrock geology; structural features; faults
Illustrationsschematic cross-sections
ProgramPublic Safety Geoscience Assessing Earthquake Geohazards
Released2020 06 11
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
It is common knowledge that mountain ranges were created by tectonic forces in episodes of intense geological movements, but how their height is maintained today is a matter of debate. A widely held view is that climate-controlled erosion limits their height. In an upcoming issue of Nature, Dielforder et al. argue for a different view. They show that at least for mountain ranges that are near convergent plate boundaries, tectonic force plays a dominant role in controlling their height, regardless of climate conditions and erosion rates. Using plain language, this invited News and Views article explains the scientific debate, Dielforder et al.'s new work, and future directions of the research field. The understanding of the tectonic force helps us understand fault strength and crustal stress and therefore is important to the study of earthquake processes.

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