Detailed analysis of the geology of western North America in relation to the motion of plates in the eastern Pacific Ocean show four iterations of a basic subduction cycle:
- Rapid subduction (>10 cm/year) and arc compression for approximately 30 m.y. best exposed today by porphyry copper deposits.
- Formation of granitic batholiths over a few million years in a trans-tensional regime topped by major silicic volcanic provinces.
- Pulling apart of the subducted plate, relieving trench normal compression, opening of the Basin and Range.
- Onset of major strike-slip motion.
Explained in detail in the following papers: