The Upper Triassic to Upper Jurassic sequence of the John Day inlier was deposited along the seaward flank of a major forearc basin. The clastic strata mask the buried contact between the coeval Huntington arc terrane on the southeast and an uplifted mélange belt on the northwest. Counterparts elsewhere may be important mid-Mesozoic tectonic elements of the Cordillera.

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