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GEOLOGY starts 2013 with 25 new articles posted online ahead of print
Date:1/30/2013

p> Retrodeforming the Arabia-Eurasia collision zone: Age of collision versus magnitude of continental subduction
Nadine McQuarrie (corresponding) and Douwe J.J. van Hinsbergen, Dept. of Geology and Planetary Science, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261, USA. Posted online 17 Jan. 2013; http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G33591.1.

Two first-order questions seem to defy consensus along the Alpine-Himalayan orogen: When did continents initially collide? Where is deformation partitioned as continents continue to converge? These that these questions remain because of difficulty in identifying geologic markers that require collision. N. McQuarrie and van Hinsbergen examine the medial portion of this collision zone where Arabia has collided with Eurasia. Sedimentary rocks from Eurasia, deposited on the Arabian plate are indisputable evidence of Eurasia-Arabia collision; however, several authors have argued for a collision age that is 10-15 million years earlier. This 10 to 15 million-year difference is important because the Arabia-Eurasia collision has been linked to global cooling, the slowing of Africa, Mediterranean extension, the rifting of the Red Sea, an increase in exhumation and sedimentation on the Eurasian plate, and the slowing and deformation of the Arabian plate, features that require a collision about 35 million years ago. Collision at this time would require subduction of ~400-600 km of unaccounted for Arabian continental crust. McQuarrie and van Hinsbergen argue that remnants of oceanic crust preserved on Arabia (similar to the Semail Ophiolite in Oman) limit the amount of subduction of additional continental crust to 180 km. This suggests collision is no older than 27 million years.


Mw 8.6 Sumatran earthquake of 11 April 2012: Rare seaward expression of oblique subduction
Miaki Ishii et al., Dept. of Earth & Planetary Sciences, Harva
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Contact: Kea Giles
kgiles@geosociety.org
303-357-1057
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

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