Meaning of allochthonous in English:


Pronunciation /əˈlɒkθənəs/


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

    Often contrasted with autochthonous

    ‘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.’
    • ‘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.