Geodynamics of the Lithosphere: An Introduction
The large scale structure of the earth is caused by geodynamic processes which are explained using energetic, kinematic and dynamic descriptions. While "geodynamic processes" are understood to include a large variety of processes and the term is used quite loosely, the methods of their description involve well defined fields. Energetic descriptions are involved with distribu tion of energy in our planet, typically expressed in terms of heat and tempera ture. Kinematic descriptions describe movements using velocities, strains and strain rates. Dynamic descriptions indicate how stresses and forces behave. In the field, we document only the consequences of geological processes. The underlying causes are much harder to constrain directly. Nevertheless, if we want to explain the tectonic evolution of our planet, we need to interpret these causes or: "driving forces" . For this, we need to find a dynamic description of geological processes that is consistent with our observations. Our descriptions relate causes and consequences - tectonic processes with field observations. In many cases, we will use equations as a concise form to describe processes and observations in nature. As we will be dealing mostly with large scale tectonic questions, the observations that we shall use are also on a large scale. For example, we shall use observations on the elevation (Fig. 1. 1) and heat flow of mountain ranges, the thickness of continents and the water depth of the oceans.
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Topographic highs in the World Fig 1 1 p
Heat and Temperature 51
Morphology and Deformation
Force and Rheology
Topographic Maps 369
The India Asia collision zone Fig A 2 p
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advection assumed assumptions asthenosphere basins boundary conditions column constant contact metamorphic continental lithosphere cooling coordinate crust crustal curves deﬁned deﬁnition deformation density depth described deviatoric deviatoric stress diagram differential diffusion discussed earth Earth Planet elastic equation equilibration example exhumation fault ﬁeld Figure ﬁnite ﬁrst ﬁxed ﬂow force function geodynamic geological geometry geotherm gradient grid heat conduction heat ﬁow heat production illustrated inﬁuence integrated intrusion isostasy isostatic isotherms kg m_3 large igneous provinces layer length scale mantle lithosphere mechanical metamorphic rocks mid-oceanic ridges motion mountain range occur oceanic lithosphere orogen P-T-paths parameters plate tectonic potential energy pressure Problem processes reference frame region relationship rheology rift rocks Sandiford sect sediment sedimentary basins shear shear stresses shown shows slope solution spatial Stiiwe strain rate subduction zones subsidence surface elevation surface heat temperature proﬁle tensor terrain thermal evolution thickening thickness Topographic uplift variable velocity vertical viscous wedge