Meaning of obduction in English:


Pronunciation /ɒbˈdʌktʃ(ə)n/


mass nounGeology
  • The sideways and upwards movement of the edge of a crustal plate over the margin of an adjacent plate.

    ‘movement of the ophiolite so far south before obduction is unlikely’
    • ‘The Papua New Guinea continental crust appears to be underthrusting the adjacent marginal basin and obduction of the ophiolite is occurring in an uphill direction.’
    • ‘During the Cretaceous, however, an ocean basin existed in this area, either as a remnant ocean that had escaped Jurassic obduction or as a small Cretaceous pull-apart basin.’
    • ‘Late Cretaceous obduction of ophiolite complexes onto the Indian shield has also been reported from Pakistan.’
    • ‘After obduction, there was a slow rate of subsidence, which reflects the continuing cooling of the underlying Indian lithosphere after rifting.’
    • ‘However, even in the absence of tectonic boundary loads, ophiolitc obduction imposes significant stresses on the flexed plate.’


Late 16th century (in obsolete sense ‘the action of covering or enveloping’): from Latin obduct- ‘covered over’, from the verb obducere, from ob- ‘against, towards’ + ducere ‘to lead’. The current sense dates from the 1970s.