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44 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Which rock layers dating from the Appalachian orogeny consist of North American continental shelf strata deposited prior to the late Paleozoic collision with Africa?

Folded sedimentary rocks of the Valley and Ridge Province.

Mountain belts form from _____ or ______ processes over millions of years. (geosphere)

volcanic or tectonic

Mountain belts ______ as they grow higher and steeper. (hydrosphere)


Mountain belts cause ______ as air rises above them. (atmosphere)


The North American Cordillera extends from _____ to _____.



What are the stages of mountain belt creation?

accumulation stage

orogenic stage

What is the process that collectively produces a mountain belt?


Which stage of mountain belt formation has rocks (sedimentary) that will later be uplifted, faulted, and folded into
mountains are deposited in opening ocean? (sea floor spreading)

accumulation stage

Which stage of mountain belt formation is a mountain building episode from plate convergence?
(provides compression necessary for thrusting)

orogenic stage

Topographically high-standing mountainous areas are generally underlain by ________.

greater-than-average thickness of lower-density crustal rocks.

What best characterizes the tectonic development of fault-block mountains?

Normal faults; crustal stretching and brittle failure of the upper crust

What term describes the zone where two continents collide, often preserving slivers of oceanic lithosphere between the colliding plates?


What type of basin is characterized by thick sequences of relatively undeformed sedimentary rocks?


What type of rocks dominate the Valley and Ridge Province of the Appalachian Mountains of North America?

Sedimentary strata folded in late Paleozoic time.

What North American mountains are a geologically old mountain range that was folded and deformed during the Paleozoic?

The Appalachians in the eastern US.

Fault-block mountains are produced when ________ occurs and _________ stretch and thin the brittle upper crust (lithosphere), resulting in upwelling of ________.

continental rifting

tensional forces

hot mantle rock

The East Coast of the United States provides a modern example of a _______ where sedimentation has produced a thick platform of shallow-water sandstones, limestones, and shales.

passive continental margin

______ is used to describe a crustal fragment consisting of a distinct and recognizable series of rock formations that have been transported by plate-tectonic processes.


The major features of subduction zones are ______? (List 4)

  • a volcanic arc, which is built upon the overlying plate
  • a deep-ocean trench, which forms where a subducting slab of oceanic lithosphere bends and descends into the asthenosphere
  • a forearc region, which is located between the trench and the volcanic arc
  • a backarc region, which is on the side of the volcanic arc opposite the trench

What is the name of a thick accumulation of sediments and small, tectonic blocks formed of material scraped off a descending lithospheric plate?

Accretionary-wedge complex

What concept shows that rocks of the crust and upper mantle are floating in gravitational balance?


What types of rocks make up the cores of the ranges of the central and southern Rocky Mountains?

Uplifted blocks that typically have cores of Proterozoic igneous and metamorphic rocks

Which forces create backarc regions?


How were the Ural Mountains (in Russia) formed?

Marine strata in a basin between the former Asian and European plates were squeezed, folded, and uplifted as the two plates joined to form the Eurasian plate.

What types of materials are characteristic of volcanism along a continental arc?

Andesitic lavas and pyroclastic materials

What happens to create an accretionary wedge?

The edge of the overriding plate faces a subduction zone.

What is an example of an isostatic movement?

Uplift of areas recently covered by thick continental ice sheets

An ________ is a section of the Earth’s oceanic crust and the underlying upper mantle that has been uplifted and exposed above sea level and often thrust onto continental crustal rocks.


What does the term orogenesis mean?

The combination of processes that produce mountain belts.

Along what type of plate boundaries are most continental mountains formed?


At what type of plate boundary would Andean-type subduction zones occur?

Oceanic-continental convergent?

Where does most volcanic activity occur in Andean-type subduction zones?

Inland on the continent

Why is the area around Hudson Bay in northern Canada currently rising?

Melting of the glaciers made this area lighter, so it is rebounding.

What term refers to the fact that the crust "floats" in gravitational balance on a denser mantle?


What two kinds of things can happen at subduction zones? (which crust goes under which)

Ocean crust under continental crust

Ocean crust under ocean crust

Which of the following is a large igneous body of rock that results from coalescing plutons in an "Andean-type" margin?


What term is applied to the juncture of two continents?


What describes the "microcontinents" idea for continental collision?

  • Smaller crustal blocks, will not subduct, so they accrete to the continent.
  • Curstal fragments of vastly samller size than large continents accrete to larger continents during collision.

What are the components of an accretionary wedge?

Mud, ash, and sediment from both the volcanic mountains and the top of the subducting slab.

Under what circumstances will subduction lead to continental collision, causing it to end?

A subducting plate may carry a low-density continent that eventually ends up at the trench. Because the continental crust will not subduct, it blocks the subduction zone.

What two characteristics do geologists use to recognize ancient continental collision zones?

  • Eroded belts of rock that show the same folds and faults as those found in current collision zones. (Rocky Mountains)
  • Eroded belts of rock that show the same types of metamorphic and igneous rocks found in modern collision zones. (Appalachians)

What geologic phenomenon causes South Africa to be elevated by as much as 1500 meters (4950 feet)?

Hot large superplume in the mantle

How is terrane different from terrain?

Terrane - applies to crustal fragments consisting of distinct and recognizable series of rock formations that have been transported by plate tectonics.

Terrain - describes the surface topography.

Why was the continental crust of Asia deformed more than India proper during the collision of the two continents?

India is a continental shield of ancient Precambrian rocks that are over 2 billion years old. Southeast Asia was an accreted region formed from the collision of several small crustal fragments and is still relatively "warm and weak."