This site contains information about the general model geologists have developed to explain how most mountain ranges form. This model suggests that mountain building involves three stages, which are accumulation of sediments, an orogenic period of rock deformation and crustal uplift, and a period of crustal uplift caused by isostatic rebound and block-faulting. The later two stages of this model involve tectonic convergence of crustal plates, which provides the compressional and tensional stresses that produce rock deformation, uplift, and faulting. In addition, the subduction of one oceanic plate under another creates friction that melts rock into magma. This magma then migrates upward through the crust forming plutons and volcanoes. Block diagrams and maps along with the text help illustrate these ideas. Throughout the site there are many active links to a glossary to define unknown words.


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