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The fact that lithospheric plates were beginning to respond (2.5 b.y. B.P.) to deformation, intrusion, and deposition in a mode comparable to that of today is indicated by the development of linear/arcuate orogenic belts bordering continental plates, leaving stable interiors with little-deformed cratonic sequences and linear dike swarms, the development of aulacogens and continental-rise sequences, island arcs, Andean arcs and back-arc basins, back-arc thrust belts adjacent to high-potash minimum-melting granites and slip-line indentation fracture systems bordering linear/arcuate orogenic belts, and geochemical patterns of igneous rocks comparable to modern tectonic equivalents; all these features indicate that modern-style plate tectonics began in...

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