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Contoversy in action: Continental Collisions as sites of Crustal Growth

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Zones of continental collision, NOT active subduction, are primary sites of net continental crustal growth.

Due to similar geochemistry, it has been widely believed for 40 years that continental crust originated from and is constantly produced in volcanic island arc settings. By linking elements that are missing from the continental crust (but are hosted in MORB mantle) with the petrogenesis and geochemistry of syncollisional granitoids and related volcanic rocks in southern Tibet, Yaoling can convince you that, whereas the standard “island arc” model has many more difficulties than certainties, it is the continental collision (vs. “island arc magmatism”) that produces and preserves the juvenile crust, and hence maintains net continental growth.

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