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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

CSPG Bulletin


Journal of the Alberta Society of Petroleum Geologists
Vol. 6 (1958), No. 11. (December), Pages 266-291

Physics of Marine Orogenesis

A. E. Scheidegger


The many recently discovered features of marine geology have been investigated with regard to the possible causes that might have created them. The standard theories of mountain building are scrutinized with a view as to their adequacy in explaining marine orogenesis. It is found that a theory of orogenesis, in order to be acceptable, must be flexible enough to allow for tension, pressure and shear to occur simultaneously in the Earth's crust. Apart from those theories that are obviously inadequate for lack of self-consistency, the only theories at present remaining are the continental drift hypothesis and the convection current theory. The convection current theory has many unsatisfactory features, but if the continental drift hypothesis is adopted, particularly with the assumption that the drift is to a degree random, a somewhat more satisfactory theory is obtained. However, the forces causing this drift remain a complete mystery so that the problem of the origin of marine orogenic features must be regarded as still unsolved.

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