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The low-angle thrust faults of the central Rocky Mountains are of two types. The faults along the Idaho-Wyoming border were formed when the exceptionally thick Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata of the Cordilleran geosyncline were intensely compressed during
the Laramide revolution. Movement on these faults, which do not involve the crystalline rocks of the basement complex, is believed to have been dissipated at depth by shearing along bedding planes. The name "geosynclinal" thrust fault is proposed for faults of this type.
In contrast, the low-angle thrust faults of central Wyoming and southern Montana were produced by the further compression of large faulted blocks previously uplifted during an earlier stage of the Laramide revolution. The crystalline cores of these uplifts contributed large quantities of detritus to the Paleocene strata forming the foot-wall blocks of some of the thrusts. A study of the structures of the basement complex indicates that the present uplifts occupy the sites of pre-Cambrian mountain ranges. Hence, this group of thrust faults borders areas that have been recurrently structurally positive throughout geologic time. The name "geanticlinal" thrust fault is proposed for thrust faults of this type.
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