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ZetaTalk: Mountain Building
Note: written on May 15, 1999.

Mountain Building occurs during rapid subduction of one plate under another. There is friction between the plates, so that crinkling of the upper plate occurs. This crinkling represents pressure and release, which can result in violent jerking and upheavals, sometimes snapping to create new cliffs or jutting rock. Those riding on the upper plate during these moment will be heaved skyward and dashed, with scarcely a safe place to cling to. Subduction can release pressure by pushing flakes of land that separate from lower stratas forward. Push a wooden block against some flaky pastry, and watch the top flakes simply fly forward, separating from the pastry. This thrust can be sudden and projectile, with the rock flake then crashing down again. Pressure and release can also create crumpling land where such activity is not expected.

Mountains and valleys have likewise been formed because of crumpling, horizontal pressure, and this will happen again during the forthcoming shift. What happens to rock when it is asked to compress, to fold? It breaks, and moves into the point of least resistance which is upward into the air. Thus, jutting peaks of sheer rock with the rock strata going almost vertical occur. It crumbles, with a jumble of rock rolling over each other as the mass is pushed upward. Thus, anyone or anything on top of that spot will be subject to being ground up in the tumbling process. Compressed rock can also drive horizontally, into nearby soil or space not occupied by anything as dense as itself. Thus, those in a valley can find rock shooting out of a hillside, or rock spears shooting under their feet, unexpectedly. Surviving the mountain building process while in the mountains is precarious, and not advised.

The land at the point where a fault line forces one plate above another experiences a violent quake, but the plates soon break free of each other and slide. But farther from the fault line, where the pressure build is delayed, pressure and release occur over a few moments, rather than a single violent jerking motion. Thus, those mountain building points far from the fault line experience more damage to the inhabitants that the fault line itself. Mountain building apparent to humans has occurred over many shifts, nudged up repeatedly as the given shift affected that particular plate with enough force to create a strong subduction. Thus, is is a cumulative affect, not a one-time result. This time around, there will be strong mountain building, in particular in the Hymalayas and Andes, not so much along the West Coast of North American, and hardly at all in the Alps in Europe.

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