- Geologic timeline of Western North America
timelineof significant geological events in the evolution of western North America. Dates are approximate.
* 350 million years B.P. (
Devonian) - An unnamed terranecollides and accretes to the North American Plate, along a line roughly coinciding with the Nevada-Utah border and called the Carlin Unconformity.
* 250 million years B.P. (
Permian) - The Sonomia Terranecollides and accretes to the North American Plate, along a line called the Golconda Thrust (also the name of the event) which runs through central Nevada.
* 200 million years B.P. (
Triassic) - Sierra Nevada batholithfirst develops.
* 165 million years B.P. (
Jurassic) - The Smartville Block, an island arc terrane collides and accretes to the North American Plate, along a line which coincides with the Mother Lodecountry of California.
* 140 million years B.P. (Jurassic) - Second wave of
plutons added to Sierra batholith.
* 90 million years B.P. (
Cretaceous) - Third and last wave of plutons added to Sierra batholith.
* 43 million years B.P. (
Eocene) - The Pacific Plate changes its direction of motion from north to northwest.
* 35 million years B.P. (Eocene) -
Rio Grande Riftbegins to form.
* 20 million years B.P. (
Miocene) - San Andreas Faultcomes into being as the North American Plate begins splitting the Farallon Platein two.
* 8 million years B.P. (Miocene) - Onset of faulting creating the
Basin and Rangegeologic province.
* 5 million years B.P. (Miocene-
Pliocene)- Northward propagation of the East Pacific Riseinto the North American Plate initiates rifting off of the Baja California peninsula.
* 4 million years B.P. (Pliocene) - Sierra Nevada begins to rise.
* 3.5 million years before present (Pliocene) - The
Pacific Platechanges its direction of motion about 11 degrees east of its previous heading, from northwest to the present northwest by north.
* [http://www.colorado.edu/GeolSci/Resources/WUSTectonics/SierraBatholith/mesozoic.htm#pt4 Dating of the Ages of Three Plutonic Episodes in the Sierras]
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