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Abstract

The continental interior of Mexico is characterized by a Late Cretaceous prominent fold-thrust belt that shows characteristics of an eastward-tapering orogenic wedge. According to structural data and geothermometry of the deformation, this wedge is the result of horizontal stresses directed from the west (Pacific domain). The orogenic wedge is bounded to the west by the Guerrero Terrane, which is the second largest juvenile terrane accreted to the North American Cordillera. The possible linkage between the accretion of the Guerrero Terrane and the regional shortening in the Mexican interior is examined in detail in the region comprised between the Sierra de Guanajuato and the Peña de Bernal—Tamazunchale areas. In order to test the accretion hypothesis, we present key stratigraphic, structural, and geochronologic data from the Mexican Cordillera in central Mexico, and discuss the problems that exist in connecting the accretion of the Guerrero Terrane to the orogenic deformation of the Mexican continental interior.

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