Dating an orogeny
Mountain complexes result from irregular successions of tectonic responses due to sea-floor spreading, shifting lithosphere plates, transform faults, and colliding, coupled and uncoupled continental margins.
Orogens are usually long, thin, arcuate tracts of rock that have a pronounced linear structure resulting in terranes or blocks of deformed rocks, separated generally by suture zones or dipping thrust faults.Regions can also experience uplift as a result of delamination of the lithosphere, in which an unstable portion of cold lithospheric root drips down into the mantle, decreasing the density of the lithosphere and causing buoyant uplift. Before the development of geologic concepts during the 19th century, the presence of mountains was explained in Christian contexts as a result of the Biblical Deluge.This was an extension of Neoplatonic thought, which influenced early Christian writers and assumed that a perfect Creation would have to have taken the form of a perfect sphere. Orogeny was used by Amanz Gressly (1840) and Jules Thurmann (1854) as was still used to describe the processes.Frequently, rock formations that undergo orogeny are severely deformed and undergo metamorphism.During orogeny, deeply buried rocks may be pushed to the surface.
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In strike-slip systems, such as the San Andreas Fault, restraining bends result in regions of localized crustal shortening and mountain building without a plate-margin-wide orogeny.