News FocusAMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION

Tectonic Blow Ended Mountain Building, Fired Up Volcanoes

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Science  14 Jan 2011:
Vol. 331, Issue 6014, pp. 142
DOI: 10.1126/science.331.6014.142-a

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Summary

Fifty-five million years ago, Siletzia arrived on North American shores with nary a bump. But the 500-kilometer-wide chunk of drifting oceanic plate had far-reaching geologic effects across the continent's western third, according to a presentation at the meeting. New seismic imaging shows Siletzia throwing a monkey wrench into the gears of the plate tectonics machine and thus reshaping western North America.