In this issue of Geology, Fuentes et al. (2009, p. 379) present a new subsidence plot and age data from detrital zircons that help to constrain the date of initiation of the foreland basin in Montana (United States). They offer these data as evidence for the resolution of a controversy regarding the initiation of foreland basin sedimentation in the Western Interior. However, their discussion raises the question of what geological data constitute the definitive evidence of the foreland basin style of sedimentation, and therefore the criteria that should be used to define its commencement.


A useful definition of...

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