Research NewsEarth Science

More Signs of a Far-Traveled West

Science  12 Sep 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5332, pp. 1608
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5332.1608

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For 2 decades, earth scientists have argued over evidence that chunks of North America's western edge may have migrated thousands of kilometers northward to their present positions. Now, as a paper in this issue reports, exquisitely preserved marine fossils from near Vancouver Island are providing a key test of the evidence, which consists of traces of ancient magnetism in the fossil-laden rock. The researchers' verdict: Seventy million years ago, Vancouver Island was at the latitude of Baja California, thousands of kilometers to the south.