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The other half of the Basin and Range.

The Basin and Range province, as all geology students learn, is an area of the western United States predominantly Nevada and western Utah - that plate-tectonic forces have stretched and thinned, producing a distinctive landscape that lives up to its name. But the province actually covers far more territory than most geologists realize, two researchers now contend.

In the August GEOLOGY, Christopher D. Henry of the University of Texas at Austin and J. Jorge ArandaGomez of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Guanajuato present evidence that much of northern and central Mexico was stretched at the same time as regions in the United States and therefore constitutes part of the Basin and Range. They suggest that the province runs all the way to the city of Oaxaca, south of Mexico City, more than 3,000 kilometers from the far end of the province in northern Nevada.

Geologists believe the distinctive topography of this province formed when extensional forces caused some blocks of crust to drop lower than others, creating high mountain ranges and low basins. Henry says scientists must recognize the true extent of the province before they can begin to understand what caused the extension, beginning about 30 million years ago.
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Title Annotation:Great Basin in Nevada and Western Utah may also include parts of northern and central Mexico
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Sep 5, 1992
Words:202
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