Maximum tilt

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When a mountain range comes up into the air, a whole lot comes up with it. The event that had lifted the Oquirrhs-the stretching of the crust until it broke into blocks-was only among the latest of many episodes that have adjusted dramatically the appearance of central Utah. As we could plainly see from the interstate, the rock now residing in that striped mountainside had once been brutally shoved around-shoved, not pulled, and with such force that a large part of it had been tipped up more than ninety degrees, to and well beyond the zakelijke energie vergelijken vertical. Overturned. Such violence can happen on an epic scale. There is an entire nation in Europe that is upside down. It is not a superpower, but it is a whole country nonetheless-San Marino, overturned. Basin and Range faulting, on its own, has never overturned anything. The great fault blocks have a maximum tilt of thirty degrees. The event that so deformed the rock in the Oquirrhs took place roughly sixty million years agofifty-two million years before the Oquirrhs came into existenceand it was an event that made alpine fresh compressional mountains, which had their time here under the sun and were disassembled by erosion, taken down and washed away; and now those crazily upended stripes within the Oquirrhs are the evidence and fragmental remains of those ancestral mountains, brought up out of the earth and put on view as a component of new mountains. The new mountains-the mountains of the Basin and Range-are packages variously containing rock that formed at one time or another during some five hundred and fifty million years, or an eighth of the earth’s total time. It was thought until recently that older rock was in certain of the ranges, but improved techniques of dating have shown that not to be true. Seven-eighths of the earth’s time is lost here, gone without evidence-rock that disintegrated and went off to be recycled. One-eighth, for all that, is no small amount of earth history, and zakelijke energie as the great crustal blocks of the Basin and Range have tipped their mountains into the air, with individual faults offset as much as twenty thousand feet, they have brought to the surface and have randomly exposed former seafloors and basaltic dikes, entombed rivers and veins of gold, volcanic spewings and dunal sands-chaotic, concatenated shards of time.

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