Tectonic Escape in the Evolution of the Continental Crust

  1. Muawia Barazangi and
  2. Larry Brown
  1. Kevin Burke and
  2. Celal Sengör

Published Online: 15 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GD014p0041

Reflection Seismology: The Continental Crust

Reflection Seismology: The Continental Crust

How to Cite

Burke, K. and Sengör, C. (1986) Tectonic Escape in the Evolution of the Continental Crust, in Reflection Seismology: The Continental Crust (eds M. Barazangi and L. Brown), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GD014p0041

Author Information

  1. Lunar and Planetary Institute, 3303 NASA Road One, Houston, Texas

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1986

Book Series:

  1. Geodynamics Series

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875905143

Online ISBN: 9781118670118

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Keywords:

  • Earth—Crust—Congresses;
  • Continents—Congresses;
  • Seismic reflection method—Congresses

Summary

The continental crust originated by processes similar to those operating today and continents consist of material most of which originated long ago in arc-systems that have later been modified, especially at Andean margins and in continental collisions where crustal thickening is common. Collision-related strike-slip motion is a general process in continental evolution. Because buoyant continental (or arc) material generally moves during collision toward a nearby oceanic margin where less buoyant lithosphere crops out, we call the process of major strike-slip dominated motion toward a ‘free-face' “Tectonic Escape.”

Tectonic escape is and has been an element in continental evolution throughout recorded earth-history. It promotes: (1) rifting and the formation of rift-basins with thinning of thickened crust; (2) pervasive strike-slip faulting late in orogenic history which breaks up mountain belts across strike and may juxtapose unrelated sectors in cross-section; (3) localized compressional mountains and related foreland-trough basins.