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The first part of this chapter deals with the concepts of morphogeological belts, tectonic assemblages and terranes. These concepts are fundamental to the understanding of Canadian Cordilleran evolution and play an important role in the organization of the volume.

Part B is mainly devoted to recent paleontological studies and their significance relative to the characterization of Cordilleran terranes. No attempt is made to synthesize the full scope of paleontology in the context of Cordilleran geology, a subject beyond the purview of this volume, but the importance of this discipline will be apparent in the chapters on stratigraphy.

Part C presents a synthesis of crustal geophysical surveys including refraction and reflection seismology, seismicity, heat flow, geomagnetism, gravity, isostasy and magnetotellurics. Although many of these studies are in their infant stages they have already provided a wealth of data on the nature of the deep crust and processes contributing to its evolution.

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