Atlantic continental margin of the United States

DNAG Special Publication 1
By:
Edited by: A.R. Palmer

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Abstract

The objective of this Decade of North American Geology (D-NAG) volume will be to focus on the Mesozoic and Cenozoic evolution of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin, including the onshore coastal plain, related onshore Triassic-Jurassic rift grabens, and the offshore basins and platforms. Following multiple compressional tectonic episodes between Africa and North America during the Paleozoic Era that formed the Appalachian Mountains, the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Eras were dominated by tensional tectonic processes that separated Africa and North America. Extensional rifting during Triassic and Early Jurassic times resulted in numerous tensional grabens both onshore and offshore, which filled with nonmarine continental red beds, lacustrine deposits, and volcanic flows and debris. The final stage of this breakup between Africa and North America occurred beneath the present outer continental shelf and continental slope during Early or Middle Jurassic time when sea-floor spreading began to form new oceanic crust and lithosophere between the two continents as they drifted apart. Postrift subsidence of the marginal basins continued in response to cooling of the lithosphere and sedimentary loading.

Geophysical surveys and oil-exploration drilling along the U.S. Atlantic continental margin during the past 5 years are beginning to answer many questions concerning its deep structure and stratigraphy and how it evolved during the rifting and early sea-floor-spreading stages of the separation of this region from Africa. Earlier geophysical studies of the U.S. continental margin used marine refraction and submarine gravity measurements. Single-channel seismic-reflection, marine magnetic, aeromagnetic, and continuous gravity measurements became available during the 1960s.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Atlantic continental margin of the United States
Series title DNAG Special Publication
Series number 1
ISBN 9780813754710
DOI 10.1130/DNAG-SPEC-v1.143
Year Published 1982
Language English
Publisher Geological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 14 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Perspectives in regional geological synthesis
First page 143
Last page 156
Country United States