Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Horizontal Crustal Movement

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_1078

Horizontal crustal movements include the drifting, sliding or horizontal translation of the Earth’s crust. Large amounts of evidence have confirmed that since the Permian, extensive horizontal crustal displacements have been caused by continental drift and seafloor spreading. The geological phenomena associated with the Benioff subduction zone, the global mid-ocean ridge zones, continental orogenic belts and continental rift belts can be reasonably associated with the horizontal crustal movement hypothesis. Plate tectonics holds that the movements of large plates are driven by horizontal movements. Geomechanics holds that all megatectonic systems are formed due to horizontal movements. Both plate tectonics and geomechanics emphasize the dominance of horizontal crustal movements, whereas vertical movements are caused by horizontal movements.

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