orogenic belt (mobile belt) A linear or arcuate zone, on a regional scale, which has undergone compressional tectonics. The histories of many orogenic belts have been interpreted using platetectonics models involving the subduction of oceanic lithosphere (e.g. the Andean orogenic belt), the collision of major continental masses (e.g. the Himalayan orogenic belt), or the accretion of terranes (e.g. the Cordillera of the western USA and Canada). Orogenic belts were formerly expected to show the phases of the orogenic cycle, but this has now been replaced by a search for identifiable stages of the Wilson cycle to see if the belt can be interpreted using a plate-tectonics model.
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