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Types of Collisions

Introduction

What are collision zones?

A collision zone can be defined as a belt or region where two sections of lithospheric crust have collided. These lithospheric plates can be either continental or oceanic in composition. Collisional zones are dominated by orogenic belts, folding, faulting, metamorphism and other deformation processes.


Why study collision zones?

It is important to study and understand collision zones for nurmerous reasons. They are large features that dominate vast regions of our planet and are home to many people. They are tectonically active regions and thus create eathquake, volcanic and associated hazards to the people who live near them. The tectonic processes that serve to build these orogens also create mineral deposits that can be used for economic benefit. Moreover, collision zones that exist in the present provide us with insight into how tectonic processes acted in the past; something of vital importance in the feild of mineral exploration.

Report Outline

It is beyond the scope of this report to study all the aspects and processes associated with collision zones. Therefore we have chosen to focus on the following areas:

  - Types of Collisions
  - The mechanisms of plate tectonics
  - The role of gravity
  - Thermal and mechanical consequences, and
  - Specific examples of  collisional tectonics


Fig.1.1. The Matterhorn, Swiss Alps, Switzerland.
Types of Collisions
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