Abstract

A hypothesis for a late Precambrian fit of western North America with the Australia-Antarctic shield region permits the extension of many features through Antarctica and into other parts of Gondwana. Specifically, the Grenville orogen may extend around the coast of East Antarctica into India and Australia. The Wopmay orogen of northwest Canada may extend through eastern Australia into Antarctica and thence beneath the ice to connect with the Yavapai-Mazatzal orogens of the southwestern United States. The ophiolitic belt of the latter may extend into East Antarctica. Counterparts of the Precambrian-Paleozoic sedimentary rocks along the U.S. Cordilleran miogeocline may be present in the Transantarctic Mountains. Orogenic belt boundaries provide useful piercing points for Precambrian continental reconstructions. The model implies that Gondwana and Laurentia rifted away from each other on one margin and collided some 300 m.y. later on their opposite margins to form the Appalachians.

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