Dynamics of Continental Accretion

A letter published in Nature 508, 245-248 (10th April, 2014) by researchers at Monash University and the Geological Survey of Victoria on mathematical modelling of crustal elements involved in continental collision and subduction, can be applied to the understanding of the development of the Macquarie Arc and the evolution of the Tasmanides in SE Australia.

Subduction zones, where one plate dives under another, become congested when they try to accommodate buoyant, exotic crust. Louis Moresi et al. describe new numerical models of continental accretion that follow the entire process from the initial collision state, through a period of plate margin instability, to the re-establishment of a stable convergent margin. The models illustrate how significant curvature of the orogenic system develops, as well as the mechanism for tectonic escape of the back arc region.

The videos of a series of models help to visualise the Orocline Model developed by Ross Cayley and co-workers at the GSV in reconstructing the Lachlan Fold Belt.

You can read the abstract of the article and watch videos on, or see videos uploaded by Professor Louis Moresi on You Tube at (this video can be applied to the Lachlan if considered to be viewed from the north-west).

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