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Fossils and layers: Solving the terrane puzzle of the North American cordillera
Date:7/16/2008

Boulder, CO, USA Tectonostratigraphic terranes comprise a huge portion of real estate in western North America. Terranes are regional, discrete, fault-bound blocks containing rocks and fossils very different from those in adjacent terranes. When mapped, terranes resemble a collage of mixed rocks, tectonic styles, metamorphism, and volcanic origins, much like the pieces of a puzzle. To solve the puzzle, this new Geological Society of America Special Paper brings together 15 chapters written by experts in paleontology and stratigraphy.

Volume editors Robert B. Blodgett, a contractor with the U.S. Geological Survey, and George Stanley, Jr., of the University of Montana Paleontology Center, say that the diverse mix of chapter authors provides a sense of the diversity of approaches within the fields of paleontology and stratigraphy as well. Chapters span geologic time from the Precambrian (Vendian) to Cretaceous and address more than 20 Cordilleran terranes.

"Terrane studies remain integral to understanding the geological evolution of western North America," says Blodgett. "Since the initiation of the concept of terranes, summarized in 1979 by Norman J. Silberling and the late David L. Jones, the significance of fossils and stratigraphy has been key to solving the puzzle."


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Contact: Christa Stratton
cstratton@geosociety.org
303-357-1093
Geological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert  

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