Trend-surface analysis of biogeographic data and probabilistic estimates of diversity and similarity provide a new approach to understanding the origin of North American suspect terranes. Results from Permian corals indicate that (1) the eastern boundary of the Tethyan coral province was about 2000 km west of the North American craton; (2) Eastern Klamath and Stikinia were close to one another and were up to 6700 km west of North America during the Early Permian; (3) Wrangellia was situated to the southeast of Stikinia, as much as 5000 km west of the craton; (4) the Late Permian location of the Eastern Klamath terrane was 3000-5800 km west of the craton and between 11° and 21°N; and (5) the Eastern Klamath terrane moved westward during the Permian, possibly as a result of back-arc spreading.

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