I have been studying mountain formation, and have some questions about how orogeny and plate stress release are related...

  • Does orogeny contribute to the release of accumulated stress within the Earth's crust?
  • If it does, is mountain uplifting effective at releasing stress in the Earth's crust?
  • And then, does this process primarily result in major earthquakes, microearthquakes, or both?

As a whole, are earthquakes of any type a key component of such orogeny?

Hopeful for some reliable resources rather than just random hypothesizing if possible! Thanks!

  • $\begingroup$ You're going to want to give more of your thinking and input. Because this sounds a lot like test/homework questions perhaps? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 8 at 4:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Here is my thinking. Mountains have some sort natural stress releasing valve. Or at least the formation of mountains or uplifting releases the stress without causing the earthquake or those microearthquakes are caused by mountains uplift. There has to connection cause and effect relationships between mountains and stress release/earthquake. Idk if any of these make sense but it's just my thoughts. $\endgroup$
    – sha chow
    Commented Apr 9 at 2:30

1 Answer 1


When 2 plates collide, the orogeny accumulates stress. Once there is enough stress to fracture the rocks, an earthquake happens releasing the stress that has accumulated. That is what causes faults, the bigger the rupture, the bigger the earthquake, the bigger the fault that will be visible.

So, the mountain building per se doesn't necessarily release stress, it depends what happens. But given enough stress, there will be an earthquake, which during the life cycle of an entire mountain will happen many many times.

So to summarize: Earthquakes happen because given enough stress rocks will fracture, which is inevitable when 2 tectonic plates collide.


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