Origin of high mountains in the continents: The Southern Sierra Nevada


Journal Article

Active and passive seismic experiments show that the southern Sierra, despite standing 1.8 to 2.8 kilometers above its surroundings, is underlain by crust of similar seismic thickness, about 30 to 40 kilometers. Thermobarometry of xenolith suites and magnetotelluric profiles indicate that the upper mantle is eclogitic to depths of 60 kilometers beneath the western and central parts of the range, but little subcrustal lithosphere is present beneath the eastern High Sierra and adjacent Basin and Range. These and other data imply the crust of both the High Sierra and Basin and Range thinned by a factor of 2 since 20 million years ago, at odds with purported late Cenozoic regional uplift of some 2 kilometers.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Wernicke, B; Clayton, R; Ducea, M; Jones, CH; Park, S; Ruppert, S; Saleeby, J; Snow, JK; Squires, L; Fliedner, M; Jiracek, G; Keller, R; Klemperer, S; Luetgert, J; Malin, P; Miller, K; Mooney, W; Oliver, H; Phinney, R

Published Date

  • January 1, 1996

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 271 / 5246

Start / End Page

  • 190 - 193

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0036-8075

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1126/science.271.5246.190

Citation Source

  • Scopus