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Contact: Kelsey Jackson
University of Missouri-Columbia

Mt. Rushmore

Caption: Mt. Rushmore granite crystallized from a magma that was generated 1.7 billion years ago during collision of smaller tectonic plates that together produced the nucleus of the North American continent. Reduced heat diffusion in colliding and deforming tectonic plates, as reported in the paper, contributed to melting of crustal rocks in the ancient mountain belt, in a manner analogous to granite production in the active Himalayan continental collision.

Credit: Photo courtesy of Peter Nabelek.

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Related news release: Earth's crust melts easier than previously thought

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