Meaning of allochthonous in English:


Pronunciation /əˈlɒkθənəs/


  • Denoting a deposit or formation that originated at a distance from its present position.

    ‘The fossils of the westernmost exposures of the Hoko River Formation are allochthonous, preserved in reworked concretions within conglomerates that were deposited as part of a submarine fan system during late Eocene time.’
    Often contrasted with autochthonous
    • ‘However, this does not prove that the Moine rocks necessarily constitute an allochthonous terrane in the North American sense.’
    • ‘Although some skeletal remains are evidently allochthonous, other remains are probably parautochthonous.’
    • ‘The allochthonous units that overlie the eastern part of this terrane were probably emplaced when the Magnitogorsk volcanic arc collided with this margin in late Devonian times.’
    • ‘These rocks are also of biogeographic interest because unlike truly allochthonous terranes they are parautochthonous with respect to the craton.’


Late 19th century from allo-‘other’ + Greek khthōn ‘earth’ + -ous.