Abstract

Foreland Rockies deformation was caused by compressive stresses transmitted tangentially through the continental basement and the overlying geosynclinal prism from the Pacific continental margin. Dissipation of these stresses by deformation has altered through time from the continental margin to the foreland, depending on the ability of the geosyncline to transmit the stress. Stress transmission resulting from Late Cretaceous solidification of the batholith caused Laramide breakup of the foreland. The mechanism of formation of structural features in Colorado and Wyoming are described, based in part on model studies.

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