The distribution of Hercynian granitic plutons in the central and southern Appalachians is compatible with their being generated in a continental magmatic-arc environment. Isotopic and geochemical data show a consistent pattern of lesser degree of crustal involvement in the most easterly plutons. Both gravity and aeromagnetic anomaly data suggest that the plutons were either synchronous with or postdate the development of the geophysical anomalies and are unlikely to be a part of any major allochthon.

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