Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso


  • Daniele L. PintiEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_5156-1


Bioorganic Chemistry Land Area Accretionary Disk Plate Tectonic Oceanic Plate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


In planetary sciences, accretion is the complex process of formation of a planet, either rocky or gaseous, from the disk of dust and gas around a protostar. In geology, accretion is a process by which rocks and sediments are added to a tectonic plate (plate accretion) or a landmass (landmass accretion). When subduction of an oceanic plate under a continental plate occurs, plate accretion is the process of scraping oceanic floor sediments against the continental plate which form a prism of material called accretionary wedge. Landmass accretion is the process of adding sediments (alluvium) to a coastline or a riverbank, increasing land area surface.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GEOTOP Research Center for Geochemistry and GeodynamicsUniversité du Québec à MontréalMontréalCanada