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26 June 2018

New study offers new evidence for how the Adirondack Mountains formed

The formation mechanism of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York has long posed a geologic mystery. A few mechanisms have been proposed, but until recently tools for evaluating them were not in place. Now, using an advanced seismic imaging method and data available only in the past five years, researchers have constructed a detailed model of the tectonic plate – the crust and the uppermost rigid mantle of the lithosphere under the northeast United States – down to about 62 miles (100 kilometers), in which they discovered a “pillow” of low-density, relatively light rock material. They say a column of this lighter material appears to have squeezed up under the Adirondacks, possibly expanded by heat, to form the dome-shaped mountains.