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The mountains are growing as we speak

Neotectonics is a science dealing with recent tectonic movements. Of course, “recent” here is understood in the geological sense, i.e. the movements did not occur earlier than in the Tertiary period (approx. 65 million years ago). Some of these movements are still in progress and sometimes can be felt in the form of, e.g. earthquakes. read more

To put it simply, the range formed within the Alpine orogeny is a result of the slow shifting of Africa to the north. This shift is ongoing and although it cannot be visually perceived, it is possible to trace it using the GPS system – special high-precision measurement receivers located in observation stations which continuously record their location for substantial amounts of time. On the basis of the results, a change in the position of the receivers within a few years can be identified. A less popular method consists of placing specialised equipment on both sides of a fault to observe changes in tension and motion. It is also possible to carry out field observations of the effects of current tectonic movements. Unfortunately, combining geological structure or geomorphology with tectonics is not always plain and simple. As a rule, geological structures resulting from current tectonic movements are difficult to observe, especially as similar forms can arise from completely different processes. Due to the current nature of the neotectonic phenomena, they can be best observed in river beds and sediments – all tectonic deformations (such as faults and folds) which can be identified in them are certainly more recent. Moreover, it often happens that the courses of river beds are strongly influenced by local elevation or descending movements. In the Outer and Inner Carpathians it is possible to observe a number of phenomena confirming the ongoing tectonic activity of the region. Therefore, it can be claimed that orogenesis is not over (!).


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