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mountain mischief

17 March 2016

I hadn't thought of this but as most mountain chains are assumed to be the result of continents colliding causing the crust to fold, how do they get around the odd mountain belt that isn't anywhere near another land mass – such as the mountains in the SE of Australia. Of course, the idea of folding is one of those theories that has got stuck into mainstream as nobody has really come up with an acceptable alternative. It is repeated because geologists feel they have to 'know' why mountains form – and the folding idea is a way to get questions on the subject. There are of course different theories – including those of Australian geologists. However, in the link above they have resorted to modelling – and moving the land mass of Australia around, first as an offshoot of Gondwana and then a section that detached itself from Antartica. Computer simulation has come up with an answer of sorts – the uplift was caused by a strong gravity field and weaknesses in the crust as a result of former mantle activity (subduction in the remote past). See http://phys.org/print377253973.html

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