The thermodynamics of Himalayan orogenesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper is included in the Special Publication entitled 'What drives metamorphism and metamorphic reactions?' edited by P.J. Treloar and P.J. O'Brien. Geological and geochemical research in the internal zone of the Himalayan orogen reveal evidence for complex relationships between regional metamorphism, anatexis, thrust faulting and normal faulting in Miocene time. Such interactions share many characteristics with those that define the behaviour of non-equilibrium thermodynamic systems, like chemical oscillators. The internal ordering of such systems arises spontaneously and is maintained by continual exchange of energy with the outside world. Mountain ranges are open thermodynamic systems, equally capable of displaying self-organized behaviour. They accumulate energy through a variety of mechanisms, particularly crustal thickening, but their non-equilibrium structure is maintained through compensating mechanisms of energy dissipation. The simultaneous operation of normal faults and thrust faults in the Himalayan system, ejecting a wedge of middle crust southward from the orogen towards the Indian foreland, was a remarkably efficient method of mass (and therefore energy) dissipation in Miocene time. Research in many branches of science suggests that thermodynamic systems forced far from equilibrium by their boundary conditions may evolve towards establishing the most efficient possible mechanisms for counteracting those conditions. For the Himalaya, one possible explanation for development of a process set characterized by simultaneous normal faulting and thrust faulting, linked through metamorphism and anatexis, is that simple physical erosion alone was inadequate to moderate the extraordinary crustal thickness and topographic gradients that characterized the southern flank of the range in Miocene time. The orogenic system may have adapted to this condition through a new and more efficient mechanism of energy dissipation that required the coordination of a variety of thermal and deformational processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-22
Number of pages16
JournalGeological Society Special Publication
Volume138
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Faulting
orogeny
faulting
thermodynamics
energy dissipation
Thermodynamics
Energy dissipation
anatexis
Miocene
metamorphism
thrust
crustal thickening
regional metamorphism
crustal thickness
thrust fault
normal fault
energy
Erosion
boundary condition
Boundary conditions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geology

Cite this

The thermodynamics of Himalayan orogenesis. / Hodges, Kip.

In: Geological Society Special Publication, Vol. 138, 1998, p. 7-22.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{8f2fa2d09bed4d488be9af1e0155287a,
title = "The thermodynamics of Himalayan orogenesis",
abstract = "This paper is included in the Special Publication entitled 'What drives metamorphism and metamorphic reactions?' edited by P.J. Treloar and P.J. O'Brien. Geological and geochemical research in the internal zone of the Himalayan orogen reveal evidence for complex relationships between regional metamorphism, anatexis, thrust faulting and normal faulting in Miocene time. Such interactions share many characteristics with those that define the behaviour of non-equilibrium thermodynamic systems, like chemical oscillators. The internal ordering of such systems arises spontaneously and is maintained by continual exchange of energy with the outside world. Mountain ranges are open thermodynamic systems, equally capable of displaying self-organized behaviour. They accumulate energy through a variety of mechanisms, particularly crustal thickening, but their non-equilibrium structure is maintained through compensating mechanisms of energy dissipation. The simultaneous operation of normal faults and thrust faults in the Himalayan system, ejecting a wedge of middle crust southward from the orogen towards the Indian foreland, was a remarkably efficient method of mass (and therefore energy) dissipation in Miocene time. Research in many branches of science suggests that thermodynamic systems forced far from equilibrium by their boundary conditions may evolve towards establishing the most efficient possible mechanisms for counteracting those conditions. For the Himalaya, one possible explanation for development of a process set characterized by simultaneous normal faulting and thrust faulting, linked through metamorphism and anatexis, is that simple physical erosion alone was inadequate to moderate the extraordinary crustal thickness and topographic gradients that characterized the southern flank of the range in Miocene time. The orogenic system may have adapted to this condition through a new and more efficient mechanism of energy dissipation that required the coordination of a variety of thermal and deformational processes.",
author = "Kip Hodges",
year = "1998",
doi = "10.1144/GSL.SP.1996.138.01.02",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "138",
pages = "7--22",
journal = "Geological Society Special Publication",
issn = "0305-8719",
publisher = "Geological Society of London",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The thermodynamics of Himalayan orogenesis

AU - Hodges, Kip

PY - 1998

Y1 - 1998

N2 - This paper is included in the Special Publication entitled 'What drives metamorphism and metamorphic reactions?' edited by P.J. Treloar and P.J. O'Brien. Geological and geochemical research in the internal zone of the Himalayan orogen reveal evidence for complex relationships between regional metamorphism, anatexis, thrust faulting and normal faulting in Miocene time. Such interactions share many characteristics with those that define the behaviour of non-equilibrium thermodynamic systems, like chemical oscillators. The internal ordering of such systems arises spontaneously and is maintained by continual exchange of energy with the outside world. Mountain ranges are open thermodynamic systems, equally capable of displaying self-organized behaviour. They accumulate energy through a variety of mechanisms, particularly crustal thickening, but their non-equilibrium structure is maintained through compensating mechanisms of energy dissipation. The simultaneous operation of normal faults and thrust faults in the Himalayan system, ejecting a wedge of middle crust southward from the orogen towards the Indian foreland, was a remarkably efficient method of mass (and therefore energy) dissipation in Miocene time. Research in many branches of science suggests that thermodynamic systems forced far from equilibrium by their boundary conditions may evolve towards establishing the most efficient possible mechanisms for counteracting those conditions. For the Himalaya, one possible explanation for development of a process set characterized by simultaneous normal faulting and thrust faulting, linked through metamorphism and anatexis, is that simple physical erosion alone was inadequate to moderate the extraordinary crustal thickness and topographic gradients that characterized the southern flank of the range in Miocene time. The orogenic system may have adapted to this condition through a new and more efficient mechanism of energy dissipation that required the coordination of a variety of thermal and deformational processes.

AB - This paper is included in the Special Publication entitled 'What drives metamorphism and metamorphic reactions?' edited by P.J. Treloar and P.J. O'Brien. Geological and geochemical research in the internal zone of the Himalayan orogen reveal evidence for complex relationships between regional metamorphism, anatexis, thrust faulting and normal faulting in Miocene time. Such interactions share many characteristics with those that define the behaviour of non-equilibrium thermodynamic systems, like chemical oscillators. The internal ordering of such systems arises spontaneously and is maintained by continual exchange of energy with the outside world. Mountain ranges are open thermodynamic systems, equally capable of displaying self-organized behaviour. They accumulate energy through a variety of mechanisms, particularly crustal thickening, but their non-equilibrium structure is maintained through compensating mechanisms of energy dissipation. The simultaneous operation of normal faults and thrust faults in the Himalayan system, ejecting a wedge of middle crust southward from the orogen towards the Indian foreland, was a remarkably efficient method of mass (and therefore energy) dissipation in Miocene time. Research in many branches of science suggests that thermodynamic systems forced far from equilibrium by their boundary conditions may evolve towards establishing the most efficient possible mechanisms for counteracting those conditions. For the Himalaya, one possible explanation for development of a process set characterized by simultaneous normal faulting and thrust faulting, linked through metamorphism and anatexis, is that simple physical erosion alone was inadequate to moderate the extraordinary crustal thickness and topographic gradients that characterized the southern flank of the range in Miocene time. The orogenic system may have adapted to this condition through a new and more efficient mechanism of energy dissipation that required the coordination of a variety of thermal and deformational processes.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0032322948&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0032322948&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1144/GSL.SP.1996.138.01.02

DO - 10.1144/GSL.SP.1996.138.01.02

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0032322948

VL - 138

SP - 7

EP - 22

JO - Geological Society Special Publication

JF - Geological Society Special Publication

SN - 0305-8719

ER -