An orocline — from the Greek words for "mountain" and "to bend" — is a bend or curvature of an orogeneic (mountain building) belt imposed after it was formed. The term was introduced by S. Warren Carey in 1955 in a paper setting forth how complex shapes of various orogenic belts could be explained by actual bending, and that understanding this provided "the key to understanding the evolution of the continents". Carey showed that in a dozen cases where such bends were undone the results were substantially identical with continental reconstructions deduced by other means. Recognition of oroclinal bending provided strong support to the subsequent theory of plate tectonics.
- Carey, S. Warren (1955), "The Orocline Concept in Geotectonics, Part I", Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 89: 255–288.
- Van der Voo, Rob (December 2004), "Paleomagnetism, Oroclines, and Growth of the Continental Crust", GSA Today 14 (12): 4–9, doi:10.1130/1052-5173(2004)014<4:POAGOT>2.0.CO;2.