Cordilleran orogenic belts are formed primarily by processes associated with the subduction of oceanic plates beneath the edges of continental plates. On Earth today, the American Cordilleras, spanning one-third the circumference of the globe, represent the range of variations seen in older, less coherent cordilleran belts. The Alpine-Himalayan-New Guinean orogenic belt embodies Earth’s other great orogenic system and has formed by both collisional and cordilleran-style processes. Because of the abundance of oceanic lithosphere on this planet, it stands to reason that cordilleran-style orogenesis has been important throughout the portion of geological time during which plate tectonics has operated.

Inasmuch as...

First Page Preview

First page PDF preview
You do not currently have access to this article.