Taconic Orogeny In The Appalachians

The deepening of the eastern shelf of North America, the presence of volcanic ash, and the clastic wedge of flysch and molasse all indicate middle to late ordovician mountain building in the Appalachians. The cause of the abrupt deepening of the passive margin was by thrust loading from the weight of Appalachian Mountains being pushed up out of the Iapetus ocean and onto the passive margin of North America during the collision of an island arc with the North American continent. During this mountainbuilding event, known as the Taconic orogeny, the Taconic thrust belt was formed and in it pieces of an island arc and accretionary prism are preserved, representing an oceanic convergent margin that had been active in the Iapetus ocean since the Cambrian, and collided with eastern North America in the Middle ordovician, closing the oceanic segment between North America and the Taconic island arc.

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