Extension in the Cretaceous Sevier Orogen, North American Cordillera

K. V. Hodges, J. D. Walker

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126 Scopus citations


Evidence of extensional deformation in Cretaceous time, during development of the Sevier foreland fold and thrust belt comes from the region roughly bound on the east by the fold and thrust belt and on the west by the Mesozoic continental arc. It is postulated that extension in this "Internal Zone' accommodated gravitational collapse of the evolving Sevier orogen. A conceptual model of the Sevier orogen, consistent with geologic constraints and supported by simplistic rheological arguments is proposed in which westward movement of a mid-crustal allochthon was driven by buoyancy stresses in the overthickened Internal Zone. Bound at the top by the master decollement of the Sevier fold and thrust belt and at the bottom by a west-dipping, normal-sense shear zone, this extensional allochthon would have been effectively decoupled from the upper and lower crust and free to accommodate gravitational collapse during continued convergence across the orogen. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)560-569
Number of pages10
JournalGeological Society of America Bulletin
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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