Books Received | Published:

(1)Diskordanz und Orogenese der Gebirge am Mittelmeer (2) Das alpine Europa und sein Rahmen: ein geologisches Gestaltungsbild

Nature volume 130, pages 415416 (17 September 1932) | Download Citation



THESE two works are both by geologists who have spent many years of field work studying the tectonics of the most recently folded belt of the earth's crust. They are concerned with the same subject and, whilst they are completely different in style and at first sight not much alike in conclusions, they have one feature in common. This is that the tectonics of the Alps are not the normal Alpid tectonics. The Alps are a special and unique portion of the great Tertiary fold-belt of the Alpids. West Alpine geologists, fascinated by the spectacular nappe-displacements of their own mountains, have over-emphasised, quite naturally the importance of similar structures in the remainder of the Alpid chains. The authors of these volumes are, as it were, seeking for a new point of view from which the Western Alps will appear in their proper perspective. They show that the history of the Alpids is more than a history of young folded chains, since the reaction of tectonic islands of old folded masses, thrust-tectonics of marginal regions, fracturing, torsion movements between earth-blocks, their rising and sinking, and the associated seismic and volcanic phenomena, are all of fundamental importance in the architecture of the mountain zones. Termier's shout of 1904, “Rien n'est en place, il n'y a que des nappes”, appears with respect to its second half to be a somewhat premature expression of enthusiasm.

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