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Orogenesis: The Making Of Mountains

By: Michael RW Johnson and Simon L Harley

388 pages, colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations, tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Mar 2012 | #194139 | ISBN-13: 9780521765565
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £56.99 $69/€63 approx

About this book

Orogenesis, the process of mountain building, occurs when two tectonic plates collide - either forcing material upwards to form mountain belts such as the Alps or Himalayas or causing one plate to be subducted below the other, resulting in volcanic mountain chains such as the Andes. Integrating the approaches of structural geology and metamorphism, this book provides an up-to-date overview of orogenic research and an introduction to the physico-chemical properties of mountain belts. Global examples are explored, the interactioning roles of temperature and deformation in the orogenic process are reviewed, and important new concepts such as channel flow are explained. This book provides a valuable introduction to this fast-moving field for advanced undergraduate and graduate students of structural geology, plate tectonics and geodynamics, and will also provide a vital overview of research for academics and researchers working in related fields including petrology geochemistry and sedimentology.



1. Major features of the Earth and plate tectonics
2. Driving mechanisms for plates, slab retreat and advance, a reason for orogenesis
3. Physical and chemical principles: rock deformation and heat production in the lithosphere
4. Large scale features of orogenic belts: thrusts, folds, orogenic wedges
5. Evolution of orogens
6. Lateral spreading of orogens: foreland propagation, channel flow and weak zones in the crust
7. Orogenic metamorphism
8. The erosion, uplift and exhumation of orogens
9. The sedimentary history of foreland basins
10. Deep structure: the support of mountains and the importance of phase changes
11. Mountains and climate
12. Precambrian orogenesis


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Michael Johnson is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and taught structural geology and tectonics in the University of Edinburgh for forty years. He has undertaken research on orogenic belts in many parts of the world - Scotland, North America, the Alps and the Himalayas - and has continued his researches since his retirement in 1997. Dr Johnson has written over 80 papers, co-edited and contributed to several books, and organised and given keynote lectures at many international conferences. For many years he was on the editorial board of Tectonophysics and has served on international committees such as IGCP.

Simon Harley is Professor of Lower Crustal Processes at the School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh. For 25 years, he has taught metamorphism and tectonics, Earth evolution and aspects of isotope geology at the University of Edinburgh and Oxford University and is recognised internationally as a world authority on metamorphism at extreme temperature conditions in the crust. He has undertaken field and laboratory-based research on mountain belts from around the globe, and has a particular interest in Antarctica, its evolution and environment. Professor Harley has written 110 papers, co-edited several conference proceedings and special volumes, and acted on the editorial boards of several key journals in geosciences, including Geology and the Journal of Petrology. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a recipient of the Imperial Polar Medal for contributions to Antarctic science.

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