A regional terrane map of the New Jersey Coastal Plain basement was constructed using seismic, drilling, gravity and magnetic data. The Brompton-Cameron and Central Maine terranes were coalesced as one volcanic island arc terrane before obducting onto Laurentian, Grenville age, continental crust in the Taconian orogeny [Rankin, D.W., 1994. Continental margin of the eastern United States: past and present. In: Speed, R.C., (Ed.), Phanerozoic Evolution of North American Continent-Ocean Transitions. DNAG Continent-Ocean Transect Volume. Geological Society of America, Boulder, Colorado, pp. 129-218]. Volcanic island-arc rocks of the Avalon terrane are in contact with Central Maine terrane rocks in southern Connecticut where the latter are overthrust onto the Brompton-Cameron terrane, which is thrust over Laurentian basement. Similarities of these allochthonous island arc terranes (Brompton-Cameron, Central Maine, Avalon) in lithology, fauna and age suggest that they are faulted segments of the margin of one major late Precambrian to early Paleozoic, high latitude peri-Gondwana island arc designated as "Avalonia", which collided with Laurentia in the early to middle Paleozoic. The Brompton Cameron, Central Maine, and Avalon terranes are projected as the basement under the eastern New Jersey Coastal Plain based on drill core samples of metamorphic rocks of active margin/magmatic arc origin. A seismic reflection profile across the New York Bight traces the gentle dipping (approximately 20 degrees) Cameron's Line Taconian suture southeast beneath allochthonous Avalon and other terranes to a 4 sec TWTT depth (approximately 9 km) where the Avalonian rocks are over Laurentian crust. Gentle up-plunge (approximately 5 degrees) projections to the southwest bring the Laurentian Grenville age basement and the drift-stage early Paleozoic cover rocks to windows in Burlington Co. at approximately 1 km depth and Cape May Co. at approximately 2 km depths. The antiformal Shellburne Falls and Chester domes and Chain Lakes-Pelham dome-Bronson Hill structural trends, and the synformal Connecticut Valley-Gaspe structural trend can be traced southwest into the New Jersey Coastal Plain basement. A Mesozoic rift basin, the "Sandy Hook basin", and associated eastern boundary fault is identified, based upon gravity modeling, in the vicinity of Sandy Hook, New Jersey. The thickness of the rift-basin sedimentary rocks contained within the "Sandy Hook basin" is approximately 4.7 km, with the basin extending offshore to the east of the New Jersey coast. Gravity modeling indicates a deep rift basin and the magnetic data indicates a shallow magnetic basement caused by magnetic diabase sills and/or basalt flows contained within the rift-basin sedimentary rocks. The igneous sills and/or flows may be the eastward continuation of the Watchung and Palisades bodies. ?? 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Additional publication details
Geophysical modeling of the northern Appalachian Brompton-Cameron, Central Maine, and Avalon terranes under the New Jersey Coastal Plain