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News Release

05 February 2008
GSA Release No. 08-07

Contact: Christa Stratton

On the Origins of Orogeny

Boulder, CO, USA – When Raymond A. Price, the great Canadian structural geologist, was a student in the 1950s he wrote an essay titled "Whence the Mountains?" It marked the beginning of a distinguished career that inspired and influenced a generation of structural geologists. A new volume on tectonic evolution of mountain systems reflects that legacy and honors the fiftieth anniversary of Price's first publication on the geological structure of the Canadian Cordillera.

Whence the Mountains? Inquiries into the Evolution of Orogenic Systems: A Volume in Honor of Raymond A. Price, published by the Geological Society of America, offers 19 original and provocative papers reflecting the scope of Price's groundbreaking work. Topics range from plate to outcrop scale, from geometry based on mapping and cross-section construction to theoretical processes based on finite-element models, and from metamorphic processes to syntectonic deposition.

Edited by three of Price's former graduate students, the volume is divided into four sections:

* Tectonic processes
* Canada and the U.S. Cordillera
* Appalachian regions
* Asian and Pacific regions

Papers reflect use of a wide variety of research methodologies and tools, including detrital-zircon, argon/argon, and fission-track geochronometry; global positioning system, deep seismic reflection, and other geophysical methods; strain measurement, kinematic analysis; and classical regional mapping and stratigraphy.

"We are very pleased with the volume," said lead editor Jim Sears, Department of Geology, University of Montana. "We think it will be a fitting tribute to Ray as well as a solid advance in our understanding of the structure and tectonics of mountain belts."

Individual copies may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online store
or by contacting GSA Sales and Service,

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting Jeanette Hammann,

Whence the Mountains? Inquiries into the Evolution of Orogenic Systems: A Volume in Honor of Raymond A. Price
James W. Sears, Tekla A. Harms, and Carol A. Evenchick (editors)
Geological Society of America Special Paper 433
2007, 410 pages, US$90.00, GSA member price US$63.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-2433-1

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