How Does the Continental Crust Get Really Hot?

Chris Clark, Ian C. W. Fitzsimons, David Healy, Simon L. Harley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

There is widespread evidence that ultrahigh temperatures of 900-1000 degrees C have been generated in the Earth's crust repeatedly in time and space. These temperatures were associated with thickened crust in collisional mountain belts and the production of large volumes of magma. Numerical modelling indicates that a long-lived mountain plateau with high internal concentrations of heat-producing elements and low erosion rates is the most likely setting for such extreme conditions. Preferential thickening of already-hot back-arc basins and mechanical heating by deformation in ductile shear zones might also contribute to elevated temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-240
Number of pages6
JournalElements: An International Magazine of Mineralogy, Geochemistry, and Petrology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • metamorphism
  • ultrahigh temperature
  • heat production
  • mountain belt
  • thermal modelling


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