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Mountain building

Orogeny is the process of mountain building, and may be studied as a tectonic structural event, as a geographical event and a chronological event, in that orogenic events cause distinctive structural phenomena and related tectonic activity, affect certain regions of rocks and crust and happen within a time frame.

The physical manifestations of orogenesis, the process of orogeny, are orogenic belts or orogens.

An orogen is different from a mountain range in that an orogen may be completely eroded away, and only recognizable by studying (old) rocks that bear the traces of the orogeny.

Orogens are usually long, thin, arcuate tracts of rocks which have a pronounced linear structure resulting in terranes or blocks of deformed rocks, separated generally by dipping thrust faults.

These thrust faults carry relatively thin plates of rock in from the margins of the compressing orogen to the core, and are intimately associated with folds and the development of metamorphism.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Mountain building", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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