The transcontinental Arch has been described by many authors as a feature having significant tectonic influence during the Phanerozoic, although the location, magnitude, and even the timing defining the arch vary greatly among authors. The general trend usually suggested for the Transcontinental Arch is northeast-southwest across the western midcontinent of North America. A series of isopachous and paleogeologic maps was compiled for this study that defines a number of smaller tectonic features - commonly trending northwest-southeast. Six persistent highs and six persistent lows (or sags) are defined that are largely basement controlled and were rejuvenated at various times during the Phanerozoic. These smaller northwest-trending features, when taken collectively and enhanced by the relative downwarping of the adjacent Williston and Anadarko basins, create a platform-like feature - the Transcontinental Arch of the literature. The concept of a Transcontinental Arch is an important reference trend in the geologic history of North America. In both regional and local studies, however, the smaller-scale, transverse features may have had significant control on both tectonic patterns and depositional influence.
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Transcontinental arch - a pattern formed by rejuvenation of local features across central North America