Western U.S. Geography Could've Been Created by Pile Up of Tectonic Plates

Not just two slamming into each

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Scientists have long thought the land features of the Western North American continent were caused when two large tectonic plates shifted together, with geologic material pushed together in a relatively smooth manner—as if on a moving conveyor belt—to create the mountain ranges that stretch from Alaska to Mexico.

New research, however, suggests the landforms resulted when several plates smashed into one-another, similar to a multicar pileup.