In 1992 Luis Dalla Salda and others of the University of La Plata in Argentina proposed that the continental masses of North and South America had collided along the western margin of South America in early Palaeozoic times. This revolutionary idea suggested that the Appalachian Mountains, which now terminate abruptly in the Gulf of Mexico, formerly continued into the Andes of southern South America. The reconstruction required Laurentia to be located in a position equivalent to the present-day South Pacific, with a Southern Iapetus Ocean between Laurentia and Gondwana. The traditional view, forming the basis of the Wilson cycle, was...

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