In Asia, the intensity and style of active tectonics appears to depend on the age of the last orogenic activity. The shields have remained essentially undeformed during the India-Eurasian collision, but Paleozoic and Mesozoic orogenic belts apparently have been reactivated by this collision, with a suggestion of greater reactivation and more diffuse deformation of the younger belts. If the greater observed heat flow in regions of more recent orogenic activity reflects, at least in part, a greater heat flow from the mantle beneath the younger belts, then the temperatures in the mantle beneath the younger belts should be higher than beneath older belts and shields. Because of the strong dependence on temperature of the creep strength of minerals, particularly of olivine, the crust and mantle beneath the hotter, younger belts should be much weaker than those beneath older belts. This difference in temperature, and consequent difference in strength, may be the cause of the greater reactivation of younger belts.
Earth and Planetary Science Letters; 52; 1, Ja; Jan. 198