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New Frontiers in Tectonic Research - At the Midst of Plate Convergence
Ocean closure involves a variety of converging tectonic processes that reshape shrinking basins, their adjacent margins and the entire earth underneath. Following continental breakup, margin formation and sediment accumulation, tectonics normally relaxes and the margins become passive for millions of years. However, when final convergence is at the gate, the passive days of any ocean and its margins are over or soon will be. The fate of the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf is seemingly known beforehand, as they are nestled in the midst of Africa-Arabia plate convergence with Eurasia. Over millions of years through the Cenozoic era they progressively shriveled, leaving only a glimpse of the Tethys Ocean. Eventually, the basins will adhere to the Alpine-Himalaya orogen and dissipate. This book focuses on a unique stage in the ocean closure process, when significant convergence already induced major deformations, yet the inter-plate basins and margins still record the geological history.