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Journal Articles Elements Year : 2011

Crustal Melting and the Flow of Mountains


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.
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hal-00737997 , version 1 (03-10-2012)



Rebecca A. Jamieson, M.J. Unsworth, N.B. Harris, Claudio L. Rosenberg, Karel Schulmann. Crustal Melting and the Flow of Mountains. Elements, 2011, 7 (4), pp.253-260. ⟨10.2113/gselements.7.4.253⟩. ⟨hal-00737997⟩
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