Orogenic Evolution of the Ural Mountains: Results from an Integrated Seismic Experiment

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Science  11 Oct 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5285, pp. 220-221
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5285.220


Results of the URSEIS '95 integrated seismic experiment document the lithospheric structure of an intact Paleozoic collisional orogen in the Ural Mountains. Hybrid-source seismic reflection and refraction data provide images of a crustal-scale collisional fabric and a pronounced crustal root preserved since Paleozoic time. Mantle reflections are observed at depths of more than 150 kilometers, possibly representing the base of the lithosphere. The Urals do not conform to existing models of postorogenic evolution involving large-scale extension, which may be a consequence of an incomplete or arrested collisional process that has led to the preservation of the largest continental landmass.