Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences

Peter Molnar

Peter Molnar

Current Research

Mantle convection and mountain building

Mountain ranges are built where crust shortens horizontally and thickens. Whatever the forces are that act on plates and move two continental regions together, they obviously play a crucial role in building mountains. In addition, however, where the underlying mantle lithosphere also thickens beneath thickening crust, the mantle lithosphere should become gravitationally (or convectively) unstable and sink into the asthenosphere beneath it. The resulting flow in the mantle might enhance convergence of crustal material and its thickening and, hence, contribute to the building of mountains.

To study such a possible role for the mantle in building mountains, we studied Rayleigh-Taylor instability— which is associated with a dense layer (like the mantle lithosphere) overlying a less dense layer (like the asthenosphere). To that, we added a low-density crustal layer on top. For a wide range of plausible thicknesses of layers, densities of them, and ratios of viscosity of crust and mantle lithosphere, we found that the instability of the mantle lithosphere enhances crustal thickening. Moreover, except for extremely viscous crustal layers, the surface above converging and thickening crust rises, and hence creates a mountain range.

We also found, however, that the calculated heights of such simulated mountain ranges would be lower than what we would expect if isostatic equilibrium applied. Isostasy is Archimedes’ principle applied to the earth, and it describes well the balance of mass in mountain ranges: A deficit of mass, such as that due to thickened crust, must underlie high terrain, just as most of the ice in an iceberg lies below sea level.

As a definitive test of how thickening and converging mantle lithosphere might contribute to mountain building, we exploited gravity anomalies. Calculated anomalies for our simulated mountain ranges tend to be negative, or nearly zero, whereas those observed over ranges worldwide are positive. We conclude that localized convection beneath mountain belts plays only a minor role in creating their heights. The larger-scale forces that move lithospheric plates together seem to be much more important. Molnar, P, and GA Houseman. 2013. Rayleigh-Taylor instability, lithospheric dynamics, surface topography at convergent mountain belts, and gravity anomalies. J. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth. 118:2544–2557.

Examples of deflections of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB; red), Moho (green), and surface (brown) induced by a growing Rayleigh-Taylor instability, for three values of : 100 (left), 1 (center), and 0.01 r(ight). All deflections are scaled to that at the LAB, but relative to it, those for the Moho and surface are vertically exaggerated 25 times.

View Publications

  • Gill, EC, B Rajagopalan and PH Molnar (2015), An assessment of the mean annual precipitation needed to sustain Lake Sambhar in Rajasthan, India, during mid-Holocene time. Holocene Version: 1 25 (12) 1923-1934, issn: 0959-6836, ids: CW8NI, doi: 10.1177/0959683615596817
  • Molnar, P and TW Cronin (2015), Growth of the Maritime Continent and its possible contribution to recurring Ice Ages. Paleoceanography Version: 1 30 (3) 196-225, issn: 0883-8305, ids: CH2EG, doi: 10.1002/2014PA002752
  • Molnar, P (2015), Gravitational instability of mantle lithosphere and core complexes. Tectonics Version: 1 34 (3) 478-487, issn: 0278-7407, ids: CH2DY, doi: 10.1002/2014TC003808
  • Cronin, TW, KA Emanuel and P Molnar (2015), Island precipitation enhancement and the diurnal cycle in radiative-convective equilibrium. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. Version: 1 141 (689) 1017-1034, issn: 0035-9009, ids: CL2VW, doi: 10.1002/qj.2443
  • Ge, WP, P Molnar, ZK Shen and Q Li (2015), Present-day crustal thinning in the southern and northern Tibetan Plateau revealed by GPS measurements. Geophys. Res. Lett. Version: 1 42 (13) 5227-5235, issn: 0094-8276, ids: CN8LG, doi: 10.1002/2015GL064347
  • Molnar, P, PC England and CH Jones (2015), Mantle dynamics, isostasy, and the support of high terrain. J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth Version: 1 120 (3) 1932-1957, issn: 2169-9313, ids: CG3EF, doi: 10.1002/2014JB011724
  • Gill, EC, B Rajagopalan and P Molnar (2015), Subseasonal variations in spatial signatures of ENSO on the Indian summer monsoon from 1901 to 2009. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 120 (16) 8165-8185, issn: 2169-897X, ids: CU3KX, doi: 10.1002/2015JD023184
  • England, P and P Molnar (2015), Rheology of the lithosphere beneath the central and western Tien Shan. J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth Version: 1 120 (5) 3803-3823, issn: 2169-9313, ids: CK7YV, doi: 10.1002/2014JB011733
  • Molnar, P and GA Houseman (2015), Effects of a low-viscosity lower crust on topography and gravity at convergent mountain belts during gravitational instability of mantle lithosphere. J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth Version: 1 120 (1) 537-551, issn: 2169-9313, ids: CC2CH, doi: 10.1002/2014JB011349
  • Zhang, HP, PZ Zhang, JD Champagnac, P Molnar, RS Anderson, E Kirby, WH Craddock and SF Liu (2014), Pleistocene drainage reorganization driven by the isostatic response to deep incision into the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Geology Version: 1 42 (4) 303-306, issn: 0091-7613, ids: AD4TT, doi: 10.1130/G35115.1
  • Rajagopalan, B and P Molnar (2014), Combining regional moist static energy and ENSO for forecasting of early and late season Indian monsoon rainfall and its extremes. Geophys. Res. Lett. Version: 1 41 (12) 4323-4331, issn: 0094-8276, ids: AN0SM, doi: 10.1002/2014GL060429
  • Zietlow, DW, AF Sheehan, PH Molnar, MK Savage, G Hirth, JA Collins and BH Hager (2014), Upper mantle seismic anisotropy at a strike-slip boundary: South Island, New Zealand. J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth Version: 1 119 (2) 1020-1040, issn: 2169-9313, ids: AD2AK, doi: 10.1002/2013JB010676
  • Mestas-Nunez, AM and P Molnar (2014), A mechanism for freshening the Caribbean Sea in pre-Ice Age time. Paleoceanography Version: 1 29 (6) 508-517, issn: 0883-8305, ids: AN5VZ, doi: 10.1002/2013PA002515
  • Collins, JA and P Molnar (2014), Pn anisotropy beneath the South Island of New Zealand and implications for distributed deformation in continental lithosphere. J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth Version: 1 119 (10) 7745-7767, issn: 2169-9313, ids: AU1GH, doi: 10.1002/2014JB011233
  • Molnar, P and GA Houseman (2013), Rayleigh-Taylor instability, lithospheric dynamics, surface topography at convergent mountain belts, and gravity anomalies. J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth Version: 1 118 (5) 2544-2557, issn: 2169-9313, ids: 256HH, doi: 10.1002/jgrb.50203
  • Rajagopalan, B and P Molnar (2013), Signatures of Tibetan Plateau heating on Indian summer monsoon rainfall variability. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 118 (3) 1170-1178, issn: 2169-897X, ids: 129LC, doi: 10.1002/jgrd.50124
  • Yuan, DY, WP Ge, ZW Chen, CY Li, ZC Wang, HP Zhang, PZ Zhang, DW Zheng, WJ Zheng, WH Craddock, KE Dayem, AR Duvall, BG Hough, RO Lease, JD Champagnac, DW Burbank, MK Clark, KA Farley, CN Garzione, E Kirby, P Molnar and GH Roe (2013), The growth of northeastern Tibet and its relevance to large-scale continental geodynamics: A review of recent studies. Tectonics Version: 1 32 (5) 1358-1370, issn: 0278-7407, ids: 256JH, doi: 10.1002/tect.20081
  • Zheng, WJ, PZ Zhang, WP Ge, P Molnar, HP Zhang, DY Yuan and JH Liu (2013), Late Quaternary slip rate of the South Heli Shan Fault (northern Hexi Corridor, NW China) and its implications for northeastward growth of the Tibetan Plateau. Tectonics Version: 1 32 (2) 271-293, issn: 0278-7407, ids: 152IP, doi: 10.1002/tect.20022
  • Zheng, WJ, HP Zhang, PZ Zhang, P Molnar, XW Liu and DY Yuan (2013), Late Quaternary slip rates of the thrust faults in western Hexi Corridor (Northern Qilian Shan, China) and their implications for northeastward growth of the Tibetan Plateau. Geosphere Version: 1 9 (2) 342-354, issn: 1553-040X, ids: 168JH, doi: 10.1130/GES00775.1
  • Ischuk, A, R Bendick, A Rybin, P Molnar, SF Khan, S Kuzikov, S Mohadjer, U Saydullaev, Z Ilyasova, G Schelochkov and AV Zubovich (2013), Kinematics of the Pamir and Hindu Kush regions from GPS geodesy. J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth Version: 1 118 (5) 2408-2416, issn: 2169-9313, ids: 256HH, doi: 10.1002/jgrb.50185
  • Rajagopalan, B and P Molnar (2012), Pacific Ocean sea-surface temperature variability and predictability of rainfall in the early and late parts of the Indian summer monsoon season. Clim. Dyn. Version: 1 39 (6) 1543-1557, issn: 0930-7575, ids: 005AO, doi: 10.1007/s00382-011-1194-y
  • Zhang, HP, WH Craddock, RO Lease, WT Wang, DY Yuan, PZ Zhang, P Molnar, DW Zheng and WJ Zheng (2012), Magnetostratigraphy of the Neogene Chaka basin and its implications for mountain building processes in the north-eastern Tibetan Plateau. Basin Res. Version: 1 24 (1) 31-50, issn: 0950-091X, ids: 873XG, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2117.2011.00512.x
  • Molnar, P and B Rajagopalan (2012), Late Miocene upward and outward growth of eastern Tibet and decreasing monsoon rainfall over the northwestern Indian subcontinent since similar to 10 Ma. Geophys. Res. Lett. Version: 1 39 , Art. No. L09702, issn: 0094-8276, ids: 937RE, doi: 10.1029/2012GL051305
  • Molnar, P (2012), Isostasy can't be ignored. Nat. Geosci. Version: 1 5 (2) 83-83, issn: 1752-0894, ids: 893ZU, doi: 10.1038/ngeo1383
  • Champagnac, JD, P Molnar, C Sue and F Herman (2012), Tectonics, climate, and mountain topography. J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth Version: 1 117 , Art. No. B02403, issn: 2169-9313, ids: 899OW, doi: 10.1029/2011JB008348
  • Yuan, DY, JD Champagnac, WP Ge, P Molnar, PZ Zhang, WJ Zheng, HP Zhang and XW Liu (2011), Late Quaternary right-lateral slip rates of faults adjacent to the lake Qinghai, northeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. Version: 1 123 (10-Sep) 2016-2030, issn: 0016-7606, ids: 799KR, doi: 10.1130/B30315.1
  • Molnar, P and T Rautian (2011), Harry Fielding Reid Medal Citation for Tatyana Glebovna Rautian. Seismol. Res. Lett. Version: 1 82 (5) 700-702, issn: 0895-0695, ids: 815JX
  • Collins, JA, P Molnar and AF Sheehan (2011), Multibeam bathymetric surveys of submarine volcanoes and mega-pockmarks on the Chatham Rise, New Zealand. N. Z. J. Geol. Geophys. Version: 1 54 (3) 329-339, issn: 0028-8306, ids: 880QM, doi: 10.1080/00288306.2011.589860
  • Perez, OJ, R Bilham, M Sequera, L Molina, P Gavotti, H Codallo, C Moncayo, C Rodriguez, R Velandia, M Guzman and P Molnar (2011), GPS DERIVED VELOCITY FIELD IN WESTERN VENEZUELA: DEXTRAL SHEAR COMPONENT ASSOCIATED TO THE BOCONO FAULT AND CONVERGENT COMPONENT NORMAL TO THE ANDES. Interciencia Version: 1 36 (1) 39-44, issn: 0378-1844, ids: 711DV
  • Molnar, P (2011), Jack Oliver (1923-2011) OBITUARY. Nature Version: 1 470 (7333) 176-176, issn: 0028-0836, ids: 718RQ, doi: 10.1038/470176a
  • Zubovich, AV, XQ Wang, YG Scherba, GG Schelochkov, R Reilinger, C Reigber, OI Mosienko, P Molnar, W Michajljow, VI Makarov, J Li, SI Kuzikov, TA Herring, MW Hamburger, BH Hager, YM Dang, VD Bragin and RT Beisenbaev (2010), GPS velocity field for the Tien Shan and surrounding regions. Tectonics Version: 1 29 , Art. No. TC6014, issn: 0278-7407, ids: 699CA, doi: 10.1029/2010TC002772
  • Molnar, P, WR Boos and DS Battisti (2010), Orographic Controls on Climate and Paleoclimate of Asia: Thermal and Mechanical Roles for the Tibetan Plateau. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. Version: 1 38 77-102, Ed. Jeanloz, R; Freeman, KH, issn: 0084-6597, ids: BPF37, isbn: 978-0-8243-2038-6, doi: 10.1146/annurev-earth-040809-152456
  • Champagnac, JD, DY Yuan, WP Ge, P Molnar and WJ Zheng (2010), Slip rate at the north-eastern front of the Qilian Shan, China. Terr. Nova Version: 1 22 (3) 180-187, issn: 0954-4879, ids: 595KM, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3121.2010.00932.x
  • Dayem, KE, P Molnar, DS Battisti and GH Roe (2010), Lessons learned from oxygen isotopes in modern precipitation applied to interpretation of speleothem records of paleoclimate from eastern Asia. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. Version: 1 295 (2-Jan) 219-230, issn: 0012-821X, ids: 613JD, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2010.04.003
  • Mohadjer, S, R Bendick, A Ischuk, S Kuzikov, A Kostuk, U Saydullaev, S Lodi, DM Kakar, A Wasy, MA Khan, P Molnar, R Bilham and AV Zubovich (2010), Partitioning of India-Eurasia convergence in the Pamir-Hindu Kush from GPS measurements. Geophys. Res. Lett. Version: 1 37 , Art. No. L04305, issn: 0094-8276, ids: 562FO, doi: 10.1029/2009GL041737
  • Molnar, P and KE Dayem (2010), Major intracontinental strike-slip faults and contrasts in lithospheric strength. Geosphere Version: 1 6 (4) 444-467, issn: 1553-040X, ids: 642GW, doi: 10.1130/GES00519.1
  • Harig, C, P Molnar and GA Houseman (2010), Lithospheric thinning and localization of deformation during Rayleigh-Taylor instability with nonlinear rheology and implications for intracontinental magmatism. J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth Version: 1 115 , Art. No. B02205, issn: 0148-0227, ids: 558ZY, doi: 10.1029/2009JB006422
  • Molnar, P (2010), Deuterium and oxygen isotopes, paleoelevations of the Sierra Nevada, and Cenozoic climate. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. Version: 1 122 (8-Jul) 1106-1115, issn: 0016-7606, ids: 605MI, doi: 10.1130/B30001.1
  • Beavan, J, P Denys, M Denham, B Hager, T Herring and P Molnar (2010), Distribution of present-day vertical deformation across the Southern Alps, New Zealand, from 10 years of GPS data. Geophys. Res. Lett. Version: 1 37 , Art. No. L16305, issn: 0094-8276, ids: 641OR, doi: 10.1029/2010GL044165
  • Duret, F, NM Shapiro, Z Cao, V Levin, P Molnar and S Roecker (2010), Surface wave dispersion across Tibet: Direct evidence for radial anisotropy in the crust. Geophys. Res. Lett. Version: 1 37 , Art. No. L16306, issn: 0094-8276, ids: 644WN, doi: 10.1029/2010GL043811
  • Dayem, KE, GA Houseman and P Molnar (2009), Localization of shear along a lithospheric strength discontinuity: Application of a continuous deformation model to the boundary between Tibet and the Tarim Basin. Tectonics Version: 1 28 , Art. No. TC3002, issn: 0278-7407, ids: 449YQ, doi: 10.1029/2008TC002264
  • Dayem, KE, P Molnar, MK Clark and GA Houseman (2009), Far-field lithospheric deformation in Tibet during continental collision. Tectonics Version: 1 28 , Art. No. TC6005, issn: 0278-7407, ids: 528LU, doi: 10.1029/2008TC002344
  • Jochum, M, B Fox-Kemper, PH Molnar and C Shields (2009), Differences in the Indonesian seaway in a coupled climate model and their relevance to Pliocene climate and El Nino. Paleoceanography Version: 1 24 , Art. No. PA1212, issn: 0883-8305, ids: 426DG, doi: 10.1029/2008PA001678
  • Molnar, P and JM Stock (2009), Slowing of India's convergence with Eurasia since 20 Ma and its implications for Tibetan mantle dynamics. Tectonics Version: 1 28 , Art. No. TC3001, issn: 0278-7407, ids: 446EX, doi: 10.1029/2008TC002271
  • Molnar, P (2008), Closing of the Central American Seaway and the ice age: A critical review. Paleoceanography Version: 1 23 (1) , Art. No. PA2201, issn: 0883-8305, ids: 289UM, doi: 10.1029/2007PA001574
  • Burov, EB and R Molnar (2008), Small and large-amplitude gravitational instability of an elastically compressible viscoelastic Maxwell solid overlying an inviscid incompressible fluid: Dependence of growth rates on wave number and elastic constants at low Deborah numbers. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. Version: 1 275 (4-Mar) 370-381, issn: 0012-821X, ids: 380SB, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2008.08.032
  • Harig, C, P Molnar and GA Houseman (2008), Rayleigh-Taylor instability under a shear stress free top boundary condition and its relevance to removal of mantle lithosphere from beneath the Sierra Nevada. Tectonics Version: 1 27 (6) , Art. No. TC6019, issn: 0278-7407, ids: 390PH, doi: 10.1029/2007TC002241
  • Jaupart, C, P Molnar and E Cottrell (2007), Instability of a chemically dense layer heated from below and overlain by a deep less viscous fluid. J. Fluid Mech. Version: 1 572 433-469, issn: 0022-1120, ids: 139MA, doi: 10.1017/S0022112006003521
  • Molnar, P and MA Cane (2007), Early pliocene (pre-Ice Age) El Nino-like global climate: Which El Nino?. Geosphere Version: 1 3 (5) 337-365, issn: 1553-040X, ids: 240HA, doi: 10.1130/GES00103.1
  • Dayem, KE, DC Noone and P Molnar (2007), Tropical western Pacific warm pool and maritime continent precipitation rates and their contrasting relationships with the Walker Circulation. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 112 (D6) , Art. No. D06101, issn: 2169-897X, ids: 147QM, doi: 10.1029/2006JD007870
  • Huybers, P and P Molnar (2007), Tropical cooling and the onset of North American glaciation. Clim. Past. Version: 1 3 (3) 549-557, issn: 1814-9324, ids: 215CJ
  • Molnar, P and CN Garzione (2007), Bounds on the viscosity coefficient of continental lithosphere from removal of mantle lithosphere beneath the Altiplano and Eastern Cordillera. Tectonics Version: 1 26 (2) , Art. No. TC2013, issn: 0278-7407, ids: 163GL, doi: 10.1029/2006TC001964
  • Zhang, PZ, P Molnar and XW Xu (2007), Late Quaternary and present-day rates of slip along the Altyn Tagh Fault, northern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. Tectonics Version: 1 26 (5) , Art. No. TC5010, issn: 0278-7407, ids: 218XB, doi: 10.1029/2006TC002014
  • Molnar, P, RS Anderson and SP Anderson (2007), Tectonics, fracturing of rock, and erosion. J. Geophys. Res.-Earth Surf. Version: 1 112 (F3) , Art. No. F03014, issn: 2169-9003, ids: 202AM, doi: 10.1029/2005JF000433
  • England, PC, P Molnar and FM Richter (2007), Kelvin, Perry and the age of the earth. Am. Scientist Version: 1 95 (4) 342-349, issn: 0003-0996, ids: 176WU, doi: 10.1511/2007.66.342
  • Molnar, P (2007), An examination of evidence used to infer late cenozoic "Uplift" of mountain belts and other high terrain: What scientific question does such evidence pose?. J. Geol. Soc. India Version: 1 National Workshop on Sahyadri - Evolution and Erosional Processes 70 (3) 395-410, Bangalore, INDIA, MAY, 2005, issn: 0016-7622, ids: 231EH
  • Champagnac, JD, P Molnar, RS Anderson, C Sue and B Delacou (2007), Quaternary erosion-induced isostatic rebound in the western Alps. Geology Version: 1 35 (3) 195-198, issn: 0091-7613, ids: 184FY, doi: 10.1130/G23053A.1
  • Anderson, RS, P Molnar and MA Kessler (2006), Features of glacial valley profiles simply explained. J. Geophys. Res.-Earth Surf. Version: 1 111 (F1) , Art. No. F01004, issn: 0148-0227, ids: 010BI, doi: 10.1029/2005JF000344
  • Garzione, CN, P Molnar, JC Libarkin and BJ MacFadden (2006), Rapid late Miocene rise of the Bolivian Altiplano: Evidence for removal of mantle lithosphere. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. Version: 1 241 (4-Mar) 543-556, issn: 0012-821X, ids: 011SS, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2005.11.026
  • Molnar, P, GA Houseman and PC England (2006), Earth science - Palaeo-altimetry of Tibet. Nature Version: 1 444 (7117) E4-E4, issn: 0028-0836, ids: 105GL, doi: 10.1038/nature05368, PubMed ID: 17099703
  • Molnar, P, RS Anderson, G Kier and J Rose (2006), Relationships among probability distributions of stream discharges in floods, climate, bed load transport, and river incision. J. Geophys. Res.-Earth Surf. Version: 1 111 (F2) , Art. No. F02001, issn: 2169-9003, ids: 039DU, doi: 10.1029/2005JF000310
  • Hilley, GE, R Burgmann, PZ Zhang and P Molnar (2005), Bayesian inference of plastosphere viscosities near the Kunlun Fault, northern Tibet. Geophys. Res. Lett. Version: 1 32 (1) , Art. No. L01302, issn: 0094-8276, ids: 890KQ, doi: 10.1029/2004GL021658
  • England, P and P Molnar (2005), Late Quaternary to decadal velocity fields in Asia. J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth Version: 1 110 (B12) , Art. No. B12401, issn: 2169-9313, ids: 997MO, doi: 10.1029/2004JB003541
  • Molnar, P (2005), Mio-pliocene growth of the Tibetan Plateau and evolution of East Asian climate. Palaeontol. electron. Version: 1 8 (1) , Art. No. 2A, issn: 1094-8074, ids: 018WW
  • Molnar, P (2004), Late cenozoic increase in accumulation rates of terrestrial sediment: How might climate change have affected erosion rates?. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. Version: 1 32 67-89, issn: 0084-6597, ids: 825JI, doi: 10.1146/
  • Jade, S, BC Bhatt, Z Yang, R Bendick, VK Gaur, P Molnar, MB Anand and D Kumar (2004), GPS measurements from the Ladakh Himalaya, India: Preliminary tests of plate-like or continuous deformation in Tibet. Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. Version: 1 116 (12-Nov) 1385-1391, issn: 0016-7606, ids: 869TH, doi: 10.1130/B25357.1
  • Molnar, P (2004), Interactions among topographically induced elastic stress, static fatigue, and valley incision. J. Geophys. Res.-Earth Surf. Version: 1 109 (F2) , Art. No. F02010, issn: 0148-0227, ids: 863OT, doi: 10.1029/2003JF000097
  • Shapiro, NM, MH Ritzwoller, P Molnar and V Levin (2004), Thinning and flow of Tibetan crust constrained by seismic anisotropy. Science Version: 1 305 (5681) 233-236, issn: 0036-8075, ids: 835QQ, doi: 10.1126/science.1098276, PubMed ID: 15247475
  • Molnar, P and GA Houseman (2004), The effects of buoyant crust on the gravitational instability of thickened mantle lithosphere at zones of intracontinental convergence. Geophys. J. Int. Version: 1 158 (3) 1134-1150, issn: 0956-540X, ids: 848LY, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2004.02312.x
  • Wilson, CK, CH Jones, P Molnar, AF Sheehan and OS Boyd (2004), Distributed deformation in the lower crust and upper mantle beneath a continental strike-slip fault zone: Marlborough fault system, South Island, New Zealand. Geology Version: 1 32 (10) 837-840, issn: 0091-7613, ids: 861LD, doi: 10.1130/G20657.1
  • Zhang, PZ, Z Shen, M Wang, WJ Gan, R Burgmann and P Molnar (2004), Continuous deformation of the Tibetan Plateau from global positioning system data. Geology Version: 1 32 (9) 809-812, issn: 0091-7613, ids: 851PG, doi: 10.1130/G20554.1
  • Cottrell, E, C Jaupart and P Molnar (2004), Marginal stability of thick continental lithosphere. Geophys. Res. Lett. Version: 1 31 (18) , Art. No. L18612, issn: 0094-8276, ids: 861HZ, doi: 10.1029/2004GL020332
  • Molnar, P and CH Jones (2004), A test of laboratory based rheological parameters of olivine from an analysis of late Cenozoic convective removal of mantle lithosphere beneath the Sierra Nevada, California, USA. Geophys. J. Int. Version: 1 156 (3) 555-564, issn: 0956-540X, ids: 777VM, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2004.02138.x
  • Brown, ET, R Bendick, DL Bourles, V Gaur, P Molnar, GM Raisbeck and F Yiou (2003), Early Holocene climate recorded in geomorphological features in Western Tibet. Paleogeogr. Paleoclimatol. Paleoecol. Version: 1 199 (2-Jan) 141-151, issn: 0031-0182, ids: 727YA, doi: 10.1016/S0031-0182(03)00501-7
  • Gilbert, HJ, AF Sheehan, KG Dueker and P Molnar (2003), Receiver functions in the western United States, with implications for upper mantle structure and dynamics. J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth Version: 1 108 (B5) , Art. No. 2229, issn: 2169-9313, ids: 678KB, doi: 10.1029/2001JB001194
  • Molnar, P and MA Cane (2002), El Nino's tropical climate and teleconnections as a blueprint for pre-Ice Age climates. Paleoceanography Version: 1 17 (2) , Art. No. 1021, issn: 0883-8305, ids: 610BE, doi: 10.1029/2001PA000663
  • Brown, ET, R Bendick, DL Bourles, V Gaur, P Molnar, GM Raisbeck and F Yiou (2002), Slip rates of the Karakorum fault, Ladakh, India, determined using cosmic ray exposure dating of debris flows and moraines. J. Geophys. Res.-Solid Earth Version: 1 107 (B9) , Art. No. 2192, issn: 0148-0227, ids: 634WU, doi: 10.1029/2000JB000100
  • Scherwath, M, T Stern, A Melhuish and P Molnar (2002), Pn anisotropy and distributed upper mantle deformation associated with a continental transform fault. Geophys. Res. Lett. Version: 1 29 (8) , Art. No. 1175, issn: 0094-8276, ids: 609DF, doi: 10.1029/2001GL014179
  • Cane, MA and P Molnar (2001), Closing of the Indonesian seaway as a precursor to east African aridircation around 3-4 million years ago. Nature Version: 1 411 (6834) 157-162, issn: 0028-0836, ids: 430FC, doi: 10.1038/35075500, PubMed ID: 11346785
  • Molnar, P (2001), Climate change, flooding in arid environments, and erosion rates. Geology Version: 1 29 (12) 1071-1074, issn: 0016-8505, ids: 501DG, doi: 10.1130/0091-7613(2001)029<1071:CCFIAE>2.0.CO;2
  • Zhang, PZ, P Molnar and WR Downs (2001), Increased sedimentation rates and grain sizes 2-4 Myr ago due to the influence of climate change on erosion rates. Nature Version: 1 410 (6831) 891-897, issn: 0028-0836, ids: 423AG
  • Molnar, P and KA Emanuel (1999), Temperature profiles in radiative-convective equilibrium above surfaces at different heights. J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. Version: 1 104 (D20) 24265-24271, issn: 2169-897X, ids: 249KN, doi: 10.1029/1999JD900485