Orogenic belts and their shallow-soled fringes, the fold-thrust belts, are globally distributed in up to 20,000 km long mountain chains along the edges of the continents. Their locations, their geological origin in a mobile Earth, and their natural resources have drawn attention from the time of the Spanish and Portuguese global explorers to modern-age geologists such as Emile Argand, Rein van Bemmelen, Albert Bally. Walter Bucher, Peter Coney, Augusto Gansser, A.M. Spencer, Hans Stille, Eduard Suess, and many others. Petroleum explorers have also accumulated and interpreted data from fold-thrust belts, but their collections have largely remained unpublished.
The present book represents a modern account of onshore fold-thrust belts and their tectonics. Part Two, American and Tethyan Inventories: Cross Sections of Fold Thrust Belts (Beiträge zur Regionalen Geologie der Erde, Volume 34, 2020) is an inventory of these thick wedges of tectonic compression, along the edges of orogenic mountain belts worldwide and their shallow fringes, the fold-thrust belts.
In Part One, the new accounts are based on data processed during petroleum exploration in the Andes, the North-American Cordillera, the Mediterranean, and the South-Asian countries. Exploration of the planet's vast deep-water fold belts has begun in earnest, but it is not yet part of the present synthesis. The author is a petroleum geologist, a professor, and an illustrator, but he has not yet summarized and published his geological views developed during 50 years of petroleum exploration on five continents.
The book is of interest to all geologists, resource engineers, technical consultants, and of course to an academic readership from all fields of the geosciences.
1 Introduction 1
2 Orogenic belts, fold-thrust belts, global tectonics 6
3 Cordilleran tectonics 20
4 Basins, sediments, geosynclines 31
5 Internides: location, dimensions, composition 46
6 Externide fold-thrust belt 61
7 Four structural styles of Fold-Thrust Belts 73
8 Style mixtures 95
9 Selected details of externide FTB 100
10 Retrocharriage, steep zones, rotation zones 111
11 Further aspects of orogenic belts 118
12 Gravity Spreading and Gravity Collapse Revisited 128
13 Fold-thrust belts and petroleum exploration 137
"Mountains generally are understood to be larger than hills, but the term has no standardized geological meaning. Very rarely do mountains occur individually. In most cases, they are found in elongated ranges or chains. When a series of such ranges linked together, constitute a mountain belt. The American and Tethyan Fold-Thrust Belts are very typical examples of Geotectonic Belts. The word Tethys is pre-pelasgian and means “narrow sea”. Fold-Thrust-Belt (FTB) is the “tree” in a “wood” called orogenesis, a Greek word meaning genesis or birth of a mountain. The author of this book – though the topic is vast and inexhaustible – using plenty of diagrams, cross sections in actual areas makes his writing accessible to Earth Scientists. The book has an excellent organization with 13 chapters introducing step-by-step the reader to the formation and the significance of FTB in mineral and especially in petroleum exploration. Terms such as sutures zones, megasutures, forces of orogeny, plate tectonics, mantle cooling, supercontinents, global orogenic systems, lithosphere, plate-margin belts, back-arc spreading, ophiolite emplacement, arc-trench gap, accretionary wedge, thrust, internide and externide units, magmatic arcs and others, all related with Plate Tectonics, are defined and make reading understandable and help to answer the question if the economic feasibility of ore and energy mineral resources exploration in FTB is predictable. There is a golden rule in Geology saying that despite the use of advanced technology, mathematical models etc in Geology, a good observation in the field is still the main tool of the geologist. There is no doubt that only a broad-minded Earth scientist with extensive experience in field work in various parts in the world would offer such a book. The plentity of sketches,diagrams and cross sections along with extensive bibliography make this book not only a reference book to historical evolution of orogenesis but also a contribution in solving vital problems related with the formation and economic importance of the FTB in Global geotectonic system on the Earth. Earth is a dynamic system and as all things flow, reading and understanding the content of this book you, an earth scientist prepares him/herself for the next thoughts in evolution of FTB and Plate tectonics."
– Oryktologika NEA - News on Minerals vol. 24 no. 140, March-April 2009
"[...] ROEDER has written an outstanding book. It joins the best traditions of structural geological analysis (most probably, rooted into the European tectonic schools of thoughts) with the newest achievements of geology. Undoubtedly, it should stay on a shelf of every geologist, if even he is not a structural geologist. This is an outstanding review of the fold-thrust belts tectonics, which shares all features of the classic never-outdating geological literature. Besides trained scholars, it will also be appreciated by students. The reviewer, who judges this book as one of his favourites, is waiting impatiently for a publication of another volume by ROEDERannounced in the preface of the current edition. Both books, i.e., reviewing and forthcoming, are together a quintessence of the author’s career, which, however, does not mean its decline pointed by the author himself. Further books from ROEDER will be very welcomed by the broad geoscience community!
– D. A. RUBAN, Zentralblatt Geo. Pal Teil II 2009 Heft 3/4
"[...] In an effort to be concise, the writing becomes a bit compressed and requires frequent references to a geologic dictionary. A complete glossary would be helpful. While there are 17 pages of references, there are a few cited sources that are not included. This volume is copiously illustrated; however, none are in color. This would have helped the presentation, but I assume that the economics of printing ruled them out. What comes through loud and clear is an illustration of just how complicated the interaction between the tectonic plates and intervening sediments is. This volume is not for beginners but would serve as a good text for a graduate-level structural geology seminar. I would recommend this book to an interpreter of deep seismic soundings. A large portion of the illustrated cross sections are obtained from deep seismic profiles, well, and earthquake seismicity data and this could become an exercise in circular interpretation. However, it would serve as a good volume for anyone interested in the complexity of the interaction between plates and the intervening sediments."
– Patrick Taylor, Davidsonville, Maryland, USA, The Leading Edge, September 2010, p. 1155-1156