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Orogenesis It is a compound concept that comes from the Greek language. The notion is used in the geology to name what is linked to the development and transformation of a mountain . It is worth mentioning that this term is synonymous with orogeny.

The orogenesis is related to the changes that occur in the lithosphere , including various types of deformations and alterations. The failures and the folds of the earth's crust are some of the processes that make orogenesis.

The theory known as Tectonic plates It is the most accepted to explain the conformation of the lithosphere and the orogenesis that results in the appearance of mountain ranges and elevations on the earth's surface.

It is possible to distinguish between various kinds of orogenesis. The paratectonic orogenesis (also known as mechanical orogenesis ) takes place when plates they move by dragging a continental sector, making it impact on another. He Himalayas , which houses the highest mountain in the world (the Mount Everest , with 8,848 meters high), was created in this way.

If one plate sinks under another (that is, it is subducted), it speaks of ortotectonic orogenesis or thermal orogenesis . Volcanic and magmatic activity in general is very important in these processes .

In the context of geological evolution, the current stage reflects the orogenesis in two broad orogenetic belts . Along the history , however, various periods have been recognized that allowed us to reach the relief of today: Caledonian orogeny (which was developed about four hundred million years ago), the Variscan orogeny (completed about three hundred million years ago) and the alpine orogeny (which took place about sixty-two million years ago).

Caledonian Orogenesis

This process of training mountainous took place approximately 444 million years ago and is also called caledonic orogenesis ; In all cases, the term that gives it its name is the Latin version of Scotland: Caledonia. At that time, several continents were in full convergence to give rise to the supercontinent that would be Pangea much later.

During the period called Ordovician, some 44 million years earlier, the expansion of the Rheic Ocean caused the Baltic and Avalonia continents to begin moving towards Laurentia. During said movement , there was a collision between the two, and it was at that point in history that Caledonian orogenesis occurred.

Variscan orogenesis

Also called hercinic , the varisca orogenesis It took place in the late Paleozoic times, approximately 380 million years ago, and ended 100 million years later. This geological event consisted of the formation of mountains and was due to the movement that at that time appreciated the tectonic plates on the earth's mantle following the clash between Euramérica (also known as Laurussia), Gondwana, Avalonia and Armorica, continental masses that later they would be part of Pangea.

The altitude of the systems mountainous resulting from this collision showed heights similar to those of the Himalayas, and appeared in specific areas where clashes between the continental masses occurred.

Alpine orogenesis

This stage is the most recent of the three, since it occurred during the Mesozoic Era, which began approximately 251 million years ago and ended 65 million years ago. Alpine orogenesis took place when the small plate of Cimmeria, the Indian subcontinent and Africa collided with Eurasia. He gave birth to mountain ranges more important from South Asia and Europe, starting in the Atlantic, passing through the Himalayas and the Mediterranean and ending in the islands of Sumatra and Java.

These are the mountain ranges that formed during the Alpine orogenesis: Rif, Cantabrian Mountains, Alps, Dinaric Alps, Carpathian Mountains, Taurus Mountains, Elburz Mountains, Hindu Kush, Karakórum, Atlas, Betic Mountain Ranges, Pyrenees, Apennines, Pindo, Balkan Mountains , Caucasus, Zagros, Himalayas and Pamir.

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