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Southern Oklahoma comprises a complex of structural elements that can be related to recurrent movement on a system of basement faults that had its origin at the time of consolidation of the crystalline basement. Repeated trans-current movements, accompanied by uplift of horsts and deep subsidence of adjacent grabens delineated by this major fault system, have exerted a profound control over the stratigraphic and structural evolution of southern Oklahoma.
The larger faults, the Meers fault of the Wichita Mountains, the Washita Valley and Sulphur faults of the Arbuckle Mountains, and the Choctaw fault of the Ouachita Mountains dominate the minor faults and delineate the major basement blocks, namely, the 4 Wichita block, the Tishomingo-Belton uplift, and the frontal edge of the Ouachita Mountains and the intervening basins. The interplay of these basement controlled blocks and their adjacent grabens has not only influenced sedimentation by establishing the pattern of basin development but they controlled the magnitude and type of tectonism that has occurred throughout the Paleozoic Era.
Transcurrent movement, according to the wrench-fault mechanics of Moody and Hill, on the major faults which border the basement blocks has produced the stress field responsible for the structural complexity produced during the several stages of the orogenic climax in late Paleozoic time.
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