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News Release

10 March 2006
GSA Release No. 06-08

Contact: Ann Cairns,
Director–Communications and Marketing
(303) 357-1056, fax 303-357-1074

A New Look at the Cordilleras of the Americas

Boulder, Colo. — Geoscientists from around the globe will gather next month to explore tectonic and magnetic processes associated with Mesozoic-Tertiary evolution of the western continental margins of the Americas. Backbone of the Americas: Patagonia to Alaska takes place 3-7 April 2006 at the Centro de Congresos in Mendoza, Argentina.

The meeting is co-convened by the Geological Society of America (GSA) and Asociación Geológica Argentina (AGA), with collaboration of the Sociedad Geológica de Chile. Approximately 300 geoscientists are expected to attend. It is the first conference of this scale to be jointly convened by North American and South American geologic societies.


Backbone of the Americas (BOA) emphasizes tectonic problems common to evolution of the Cordilleras of the Americas, from the northern tip of Alaska to the southern tip of Patagonia. Topics include:

  • Effects of collisions of active and passive ocean ridges
  • Shallowing and steepening subduction zones
  • Plateau and orogenic uplift on the margins of the Americas

The conference consists of two full-day plenary sessions with invited speakers, poster sessions throughout the week, and two days of contributed oral presentations. Pre-meeting, mid-conference, and post-meeting field trips are also scheduled.


While GSA will not operate an onsite Newsroom at the meeting, journalists are encouraged to view the technical program online and contact participating scientists on presentations of interest. Presentations are not under embargo and abstracts may be accessed via Please reference the meeting and the Geological Society of America in articles written.

Media-related questions before, during, and after the meeting may be directed to Ann Cairns, Director of Communications at the Geological Society of America (+1-303-357-1056 or .


Support for Backbone of the Americas: Patagonia to Alaska is provided by:

  • National Science Foundation (USA)
  • Agencia de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (Argentina)
  • Consejo Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica (Argentina)
  • Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas at Austin
  • ExxonMobil Exploration Company
  • Repsol YPF
  • Rio Tinto Mining
  • IAMGOLD Argentina
  • SA Goldfield Corporation, Argentina
  • GSA Foundation
  • GSA Structural Geology and Tectonics Division
  • GSA International Division
  • ILP-Project
  • ERAS

Geological Society of America
3300 Penrose Place - Box 9140
Boulder, CO 80301-9140 USA


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