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The highest-grade Barrovian-type metamorphic rocks of the North American Cordillera exposed today are Late Cretaceous in age and found within an orogen-parallel belt of metamorphic core complexes for which the tectonic histories remain controversial. Thermobarometric studies indicate that many of these Late Cretaceous metamorphic assemblages formed at pressures of >8 kbar, conventionally interpreted as >30 km depth by assuming lithostatic conditions. However, in the northern Basin and Range Province, detailed structural reconstructions and a growing body of contradictory geologic data in and around the metamorphic core complexes indicate these metamorphic rocks are unlikely to have ever been buried any...

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