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Comparative analysis of the geological evolution of the northern and southern Appalachian orogen: Late Ordovician-Permian

Memoir of the Geological Society of America

By:
, ,
DOI: 10.1130/2010.1206(03)

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Abstract

Review of the major post-Middle Ordovician lithotectonic elements of the Appalachian orogen indicates that the middle to late Paleozoic geologic evolution of the Appalachian margin was less uniform than that of the early Paleozoic. Evolutionary divergence betweenthe northern and southern segments of the orogen started in the Late Ordovician to Silurian with staggered accretion of the first peri-Gondwanan elements to reach the Laurentia margin, Carolinia in the south and Ganderia in the north. Divergence was amplified duringthe Silurian, specifi cally with respect to the nature of the Laurentian margin and the history of accretion. During this time frame, the northern margin was convergent, whereas the amagmatic southern margin may well have been a transform boundary. In terms of accretion, the Late Silurian-Early Devonian docking of Avalonia was restricted to the northern segment, whereas the southern Appalachians appear to have been largely quiescent during this interval. The evolutionary paths of the two segments of the margin converge on a commonhistory in the Late Devonian during the Famennian event; we suggest that this tectonism was related to the initial marginwide interaction of Laurentia with the peri-Gondwanan blocks of Meguma and Suwanee, providing a uniform tectonic template for margin evolution. The Laurentian-Gondwanan collision is marked by second-order divergences in history. Specifi cally, during the Carboniferous, the southern segment records a larger component of shortening than the northern Appalachians. ?? 2010 Geological Society of America.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Comparative analysis of the geological evolution of the northern and southern Appalachian orogen: Late Ordovician-Permian
Series title:
Memoir of the Geological Society of America
ISBN:
9780813712062
DOI:
10.1130/2010.1206(03)
Volume
206
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Memoir of the Geological Society of America
First page:
51
Last page:
69
Number of Pages:
19