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Appalachian Orogenic Belt

Subdivisions of the Belt

The Appalachian Orogenic Belt is the belt of Paleozoic deformation along the southeast side of the North American continent that borders the central continental platform on that side. Its major exposed portion is the Appalachian Mountains (Fig. 1), which reach from central Alabama through the eastern United States and Canada to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and which can be considered to include Newfoundland as well, but additional portions of the belt are concealed beneath the Atlantic Coastal Plain and the continental shelf from southern Georgia northeast as far as the Grand Banks. The belt of Paleozoic deformation can also be traced along a sinuous course beneath the Gulf Coastal Plain from Alabama to southwestern Texas and adjacent Mexico; marginal parts of the belt are exposed in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma and the Marathon region of west Texas and in a few smaller areas in Texas and Mexico (Fig. 2).