Mechanism of Orogenesis and Volcanic Activity


    IN a pamphlet dealing with “The West Indies and the Mountain Uplift Problem” (privately printed by B. T. Ord, Ltd., West Hartlepool, 1945, pp. 25+6 figs.), Dr. C. T. Trechmann presents a short account of the geological structure and history of the West Indies, largely based on his own observations ; and having found there a puzzling assemblage of phenomena, such as causes difficulty to geologists from time to time, he expresses his disbelief in the various hypotheses now on trial and offers alternative suggestions. Dr. Irechmann's attempt to account for orogenesis and vulcanism, with special reference to the West Indies, involves the following fallacious or demonstrably untenable ideas: (a) that ocean water at considerable depth penetrating unconsolidated or fragmentated conglomerates may induce metasomatism and generate heat by exothermic reactions ; (b) that the floor of the Bartlett Trough may be lowered and that gaseous or magmatic and plastic material may be forced inwards and upwards beneath Jamaica and Cuba by the pressure due to four miles of sea water ; (c) that the upward tidal pull on emergent land may be cumulative, so inducing a landward flow of sub-crustal magmatizing gases or liquids and thereby still further raising the land and deepening the adjacent sea floor. If Dr. Trechmann were able to visualize the kind of earth that would have resulted from the operation of the above alleged processes, he would find it strikingly at variance with the real earth with which geologists are concerned.

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    Mechanism of Orogenesis and Volcanic Activity. Nature 157, 509 (1946) doi:10.1038/157509b0

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