We have developed a new method to assess the movement of particles in different steps of a well-calibrated sequential kinematic restoration. Calibration included correct assessment of amounts of overburden, sedimentation, erosion, and thermal behavior through time. Our method allowed a better understanding of the mechanisms of deformation and uplift in different geologic provinces. In our pilot case study in the Colombian Eastern Cordillera, we have used movement vectors in balanced cross sections to document an initial phase of dominant vertical uplift and a final phase of dominant tangential horizontal shortening. Our findings challenged the common assumptions related to folding and deformation mechanisms in fold-and-thrust belts used for cross-section balancing and palinspastic reconstructions. Thus, we found that the movement vectors in cross sections can be used to test and validate a complete procedure to obtain calibrated sequential kinematic restorations and represent a powerful tool to better understand deformation mechanisms in different settings.

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