The geotectonic setting of Pennsylvanian uplifts and associated basins of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains province has long been unclear because analogy of the deformed intracontinental domain with either arc or collisional orogens is not apt. Diachronous subsidence of Ancestral Rocky Mountains basins was coincident with sequential closure, from east to west, of the Ouachita suture to the southeast. This geotectonic relationship suggests that Ancestral Rocky Mountains deformation was induced by intracontinental stresses associated with continued subduction of westerly parts of Laurentia after more easterly parts had locked against Gondwana.

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