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The Central Asian Orogenic Belt is one of the largest accretionary terrains on Earth and records a ca. 800 Ma history of arc and microcontinent accretion, from south to north, during evolution and closure of the southwest Pacific-type Paleo-Asian ocean in the period ca. 1020 to ca. 325 Ma. We contest the evolutionary model for the belt proposed by previous authors in terms of a single, long island arc.

Accretion of ophiolites, arcs, and Precambrian microcontinents took place in southern Siberia in late Neoproterozoic to Cambrian times. Ultrahigh-pressure sub-duction and metamorphism occurred in the Cambrian at Kokchetav, Kazakhstan, and high-pressure...

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