Mantle Plumes and Mountain Building

This page presents an abstract from the American Scientist March-April 1999 issue. It discusses how the westward progress of the North American plate over the relatively stationary Yellowstone plume during the past 75 million years may explain geological features as diverse as the Laramide Orogeny, the distended Basin and Range Province, and the accretion of exotic terranes along the continent's west coast. Some sample figures from the article that illustrate the path of the hot spot across North America, as well as a cross section of the subduction zone over the past 70 million years, are also included. Other links included are: relief maps of the United States, physiographic provinces of the United States, geomorphology from space, a story on plate tectonics by the United States Geological Survey, a plate motion calculator, and various geology links.

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Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Structural Geology:Regional Structural/Tectonic Activity, Geoscience:Geology:Historical Geology
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work, Audio/Visual:Images/Illustrations
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16), College Lower (13-14), Graduate/Professional
Focus on the Cretaceous: Magmatism, Tectonics
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Structural Geology, Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Early Earth, Plate Tectonics