Category Archives: mountains

Cratons – old and strong

Cratons are pieces of continents that have been stable for a over a billion years. As earth’s plates drift along, mountains periodically rise and fall, plate boundaries appear and disappear. But cratons are like great-grandmothers at family gatherings, while younger … Continue reading

Categories: eclogites, mountains, subduction, tectonics

Erosion makes mountains beautiful

The thing that makes mountains so beautiful and fascinating,is not so much their height as their steepness. Climbers and trekkers flock to the High Himalaya, not to get altitude sickness but for the grandeur of the landscape, the experience of … Continue reading

Categories: Glacial, mountains, tectonics

Mantle support of topography – a swell idea

Why are some bits of the earth higher than others? Finding mountains near plate boundaries is easy to explain – various forms of plate collision cause the crust to thicken and the surface to rise. What about Southern Africa? Reaching … Continue reading

Categories: England, mountains, Scotland, sediments, tectonics

Sherlock Holmes and the case of the detrital zircon

The October copy of the journal Geology contains a paper that made me think of Sherlock Holmes. That doesn’t happen very often. One of the fictional detective’s many skills was the ability to get important insights from the sediment found on … Continue reading

Categories: mountains, sediments, tectonics