The North American connection, or the Grenvillian continental crust that separated from eastern North America during the initiation of the Appalachian orogenic cycle, is poorly defined within the present orogen. A variety of terranes occur outboard of the North American miogeocline, all structurally uncoupled and therefore suspect. Stratigraphic analysis indicates that Appalachian accretion progressed from the miogeocline outward. The boundaries of the earliest accreted western terranes are marked by melange and ophiolite complexes. Later boundaries between eastern terranes are steep mylonitic zones and brittle faults. Accretionary events, defined by Stratigraphic analysis, correspond to times of major deformation, plutonism, and metamorphism in the history of the orogen.

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