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Some inexact methods for estimating tectonic rotation poles are described. It is shown geometrically that each compressive plate margin has a “forbidden sector” in which the pole cannot lie. This may help to delimit the pole position, particularly for large orogenic structures. Five present-day compressive zones are examined, and their respective poles lie generally in line with the zone and about 20° to 40° from one end of it. A possible Atlantic-Mediterranean reconstruction is consistent with these findings.

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