Fold and thrust belt

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An example of thin-skinned thrusting in Montana. The white Madison Limestone is repeated, with one example in the foreground (that pinches out with distance) and another to the upper right corner and top of the picture.

A fold and thrust belt is a series of mountainous foothills adjacent to an orogenic belt, which forms due to contractional tectonics. Fold and thrust belts commonly form in the forelands adjacent to major orogens as deformation propagates outwards. Fold and thrust belts usually comprise both folds and thrust faults, commonly interrelated. They are commonly also known as thrust-and-fold belts, or simply thrust-fold belts.

Thrust belts[edit]


Thrustbelt Name Age Structural Style
Alps Cenozoic
Scandinavian Caledonides Ordovician - Devonian
Carpathians Mesozoic - Tertiary

North America[edit]

Thrustbelt Name Age Structural Style
Alaska Range Late Cretaceous - Cenozoic Thick-skin
Anadyr Range Late Paleocene - Eocene Unknown
Antler Thrustbelt Carboniferous Thin-skin
Appalachians Late Paleozoic Thin-skin
Arctic Cordillera Middle Devonian - Early Carboniferous Unknown
Brooks Range Jurassic - Early Cretaceous, Early Cenozoic Thin-skin
California Coast Ranges Late Miocene - Quaternary Transpressional
Chihuahua Belt Paleocene Unknown
Chugach Mountains Cenozoic Thin-skin
Sierra Madre Oriental Early Cenozoic Unknown
Innuitian Fold-Thrust Belt Late Cretaceous - Early Cenozoic Thin-skin
Kuskokwim Mountains Late Cretaceous - Eocene Unknown
Mackenzie Mountains Late Cretaceous - Middle Eocene Thin-skin
Maria Fold and Thrust Belt Cretaceous Thick-skin
North Greenland Fold Belt Middle Devonian - Early Carboniferous Unknown
Northern Ellesmere Fold Belt Middle Devonian - Early Carboniferous Thin-skin
Ogilvie Mountains Late Cretaceous - Eocene Thin-skin
Oregon Accretionary Prism Late Miocene - Quaternary Thin-skin
Ouachitas Late Carboniferous - Early Permian Thick- and thin-skin
Richardson Mountains Late Cretaceous - Middle Eocene Thin-skin
Rocky Mountains Paleocene to Middle Eocene Thick-skin
Selwyn Fold Belt, Yukon[1] Late Cretaceous Unknown
South Canadian Rockies Late Jurassic - Eocene Thin-skin
Sierra Madre Occidental Cretaceous - Eocene Unknown
Wyoming-Utah Thrustbelt (North Sevier) Late Jurassic - Eocene Thin-skin

Much of this table is adapted from Nemcok et al., 2005[2]

South America[edit]

Thrustbelt Name Age Structural Style
Magallanes (Fuegian) fold and thrust belt Late Cretaceous - Cenozoic Thin skin
Central Andean fold and thrust belt Mesozoic - Cenozoic Thin skin[3]


  1. ^ Selwyn Basin Metallogeny Yukon Geological Survey
  2. ^ Nemcok, M., Schamel, S. & Gayer, R. 2005. Thrustbelts - Structural Architecture, Thermal Regimes and Petroleum Systems. Cambridge University Press ISBN 978-0-521-82294-7

Fold and thrust belt publications[edit]