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Book Chapter

Sedimentation Within and Beside Ancient and Modern Magmatic Arcs

William R. Dickinson
William R. Dickinson
Stanford University, Stanford California
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January 01, 1974


Rocks formed along magmatic arcs at convergent plate junctures are important components of eugeosyn- clinal terranes. Arc complexes include not only surficial volcanic accumulations and plutonic intrusions em- placed in the metamorphic roots of the arcs. Also important are clastic strata composed of debris dispersed from the igneous axes of the arcs by eruption or erosion and deposited in basins and troughs within or beside the arc trends. Magmatic arcs include both marginal volcanic chains along or near the edges of continental land- masses and volcanic island chains flanked on the side away from the trench either by shallow epicontinental seas or by deep oceanic areas that commonly were formed as interarc basins. Intra-arc basins and troughs are largely fault-controlled depressions, although environments of deposition range from varied terrestrial and shallow marine settings to deep marine waters where turbidites are dominant. Coarse air-fall and ash-flow pyroclastic strata, pillow breccias and aquagene tuffs, and subaqueous ash-flow deposits are distinctive facies common for intra-arc sequences. Thick prisms and wedges of clastic strata commonly accumulate along or near the flanks of magmatic arcs. On the trench side, elongate traps for sediment prisms within the arc-trench gaps include terrestrial valleys and sloping plains, subsiding shelves and slopes, and deep bathymetric benches and troughs. On the other side, in the rear of the arc, clastic wedges may be spread either as turbidite aprons built into a deep interarc basin lying beyond a rifted arc rear and bounded on the far side by a remnant arc or as riverine and deltaic plains built into a foreland basin lying beyond an arc-rear thrust belt and bounded on the far side by a cratonic mass. The history of salient arc-trench systems suggests that evolution through time typically involves coordinate widening of the arc-trench gap, the magmatic arc structure itself, and the interarc basin or thrust belt behind the arc.

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SEPM Special Publication

Modern and Ancient Geosynclinal Sedimentation

R. H. Dott, Jr.
R. H. Dott, Jr.
University of Wisconsin, Madison
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Robert H. Shaver
Robert H. Shaver
Indiana University, Bloomington
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Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists
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Publication date:
January 01, 1974




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