17 votes

How high can a mountain possibly get?

Found an article that used a simple analytical modelling to determine how high a mountain can be. Reference Based on simple physics, tallest a mountain will be on Earth is ~10 km. This is based on: ...
Earth Science Expatriate's user avatar
13 votes

How high can a mountain possibly get?

The glacial buzzsaw hypothesis (summary; sample paper) is that mountains can't get much higher than the elevation at which glaciers form cirques. The upper walls of the cirques are steep and erode ...
cphlewis's user avatar
  • 531
10 votes

Himalayas are currently rising. What will be the highest point they can reach?

The Himalayas are indeed rising, but they are also being eroded at a comparable rate. It will come as no surprise to anyone that the maximum possible height of a mountain on Earth is only marginally ...
Gordon Stanger's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

How do tectonics work on other planets?

It's a huge field of research and a lot of interesting studies have been published over the years, but also a lot of speculation. Models and theories are mostly based on surface structures observed by ...
user2821's user avatar
  • 5,946
6 votes

Do divergent tectonic plates destroy mountains?

Quite the opposite. Divergent boundaries can cause mountain (well, actually volcano) building, because upwelling magma is part of the rifting process. First and most importantly, the Mid-Ocean Ridge ...
Spencer's user avatar
  • 3,548
5 votes
Accepted

What is the impact of divergent tectonic plates on old mountain ranges?

The example of the East African Rift was given in a different answer. Splitting of mountain ranges in two becomes even more apparent as you go up north from there. The Red Sea between Egypt and ...
Gimelist's user avatar
  • 23.1k
5 votes

Relationship between tides and earthquakes

I don't find Ide et al's recent paper to be very convincing. They only studied three earthquakes - hardly a statistically representative sample. There are millions of earthquakes on record, and ...
Gordon Stanger's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

What is the current status of geophysical global cooling theory?

The effects one can see on other planets (and many of the icy moons in the solar system) are typically faults and scarps due to the fact that during cooling, these bodies contracted. Since the surface ...
Wolfgang Bangerth's user avatar
5 votes

What structures form due to the melting of subducting plates?

The subducting plate never really melt. It just gets recycled into the mantle (the Asthenosphere to be more precise), which is in solid state. It is plastic and deformable enough to allow convection ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
  • 17.6k
5 votes

Do divergent tectonic plates destroy mountains?

I want to add some nice examples of how divergent plate movement can actually create mountains, not destroy them. Here are two photographs I took several years ago from the Red Sea rift near Eilat, ...
Gimelist's user avatar
  • 23.1k
4 votes

Do divergent tectonic plates destroy mountains?

Do divergent tectonic plates destroy mountains? The short answer is "no". Erosion destroys mountains. Period. Not slumping, not faulting, not "flowing back to flatness" in the absence of compression, ...
Knob Scratcher's user avatar
4 votes

Do divergent tectonic plates destroy mountains?

Mountains tend to fault and collapse back to flatter ground once the building forces cease. This is a very slow process and rarely leads to the complete elimination of a mountain range. So, left on ...
John's user avatar
  • 6,906
4 votes
Accepted

Is it coincidence that Antarctica is centered on the south pole?

It's an interesting thought. Antarctica is not so balanced as it might appear on the maps. East Antarctica is old, consisting probably of cratons and Proterozoic orogenic domains whiles West ...
user2821's user avatar
  • 5,946
4 votes

Source of sub-surface ringwoodite water

Is there no means through which such a large volume of surface water, perhaps delivered by comets, could be subsumed in to the mantle through tectonic processes? Definitely. This was happening ...
Gimelist's user avatar
  • 23.1k
4 votes

What is the impact of divergent tectonic plates on old mountain ranges?

Divergent boundaries are going to form where the crust is weak and thin, a divergent boundary siis very unlikely to form in an existing mountain range. Imagine trying to pull apart a lumpy cookie, is ...
John's user avatar
  • 6,906
4 votes
Accepted

Formation of Mount Elbrus

It's a fairly dense analysis, but this paper seems to have your answer: Young Silicic Magmatism of the Greater Caucasus, Russia, with implication for its delamination origin based on zircon ...
jeffronicus's user avatar
  • 3,523
4 votes
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Relay structures in Rupes Recta

From Nahm & Schultz (2013): Detailed structural mapping of Rupes Recta has revealed the presence of four distinct fault segments (Fig. 6). Analysis of throw distributions can clarify which ...
Jean-Marie Prival's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

How much change has there been to the shape of plate boundaries over geological time?

I am not sure if you are actually asking about Tectonic Plate boundaries, or the boundaries of continents, which are often described a puzzle pieces when teaching continental drift due to the way ...
C.Crumpet's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Do earthquakes produce folds on rocks?

No, earthquakes are sudden, often very energetic events which produce faults and discontinuities. There is a sharp break in the strata when subjected to a powerful earthquake. The folding of strata is ...
Michael Walsby's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

tectonic faults catalog for plot

A good database of tectonic plates is available at the Institute for Geophysics of the University of Texas. The database includes present conditions and past and future conditions. They provide ASCII ...
arkaia's user avatar
  • 15.4k
3 votes
Accepted

If dinosaurs lived in cities, would we be able to find traces?

"Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack." That said, there is no evidence of any intelligent civilization prior to humanity. If dinosaurs, or for that matter, some other species, had ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 23.5k
3 votes
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Speculative Plate Techtonics - Resolving intersecting subductions

If two continental plates meet, neither generally subduct -- you just get a big collision, in the way the Alps and the Himalayas are formed. That's because continental plates are relatively light, and ...
Wolfgang Bangerth's user avatar
2 votes

Is "seismic energy released" a regionalized variable and can be analyzed using geostatistics?

An intrinsic assumption in using geostatistics is that one can approximate a distribution by a polynomial surface. In practice, maybe you can do this in a very simple geological situation, such as an ...
Gordon Stanger's user avatar
2 votes

Timeline of Himalayas/Tibetan plateau formation

Drying out of North Africa is likely the result of something far more local. I've never heard of the either the Tibetan Plateau or the growing Himalaya as causing changes to Africa's monsoons and ...
Knob Scratcher's user avatar
2 votes

What is the impact of divergent tectonic plates on old mountain ranges?

If you want to know about what happens with diverging plates, the best example to look at is the East African Rift Valley. An existing plate is forced to split apart by a mantle plume or plumes, and ...
Michael Walsby's user avatar
2 votes

Formation of Iceland

The answers so far are broadly correct. Iceland has formed from a coincidence of a constructive plate margin and a mantle plume, or "hot spot". But to really understand why Iceland is there we need to ...
jimmcwibb's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

Why are the supposed-to-be results of collision and/or subduction formed in an area where collision and/or subduction didn't happen?

I think there are two aspects to consider. Before moving away when a supercontinent breaks up, plates have to collide to form this supercontinent in the first place. This process, called an orogeny, ...
Jean-Marie Prival's user avatar
1 vote

Tectonic plates terminology

Tectonic plates almost all comprise a mix of both oceanic and continental crust in different areas. The exceptions are all minor plates. Where the edges of these plates spread apart you get divergent ...
Ash's user avatar
  • 4,260

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