Diachronous Thrust Loading and Fault Partitioning of the Black Warrior Foreland Basin within the Alabama Recess of the Late Paleozoic Appalachian—Ouachita Thrust Belt
William A. Thomas, 1995. "Diachronous Thrust Loading and Fault Partitioning of the Black Warrior Foreland Basin within the Alabama Recess of the Late Paleozoic Appalachian—Ouachita Thrust Belt", Stratigraphic Evolution of Foreland Basins, Steven L. Dorobek, Gerald M. Ross
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The triangular outline of the late Paleozoic Black Warrior foreland basin on the southern edge of the North American craton in Alabama and Mississippi is framed on the southwest by the northwest-striking Ouachita thrust front and on the southeast by northeast-striking Appalachian thrust-belt structures. The nearly orthogonal intersection of the Ouachita and Appalachian thrust belts implies a composite history of flexural subsidence of the foreland. A long homocline that dips southwest beneath the Ouachita thrust front defines the structure of the basin, and a southwestward-thickening, northeastward-prograding synorogenic clastic wedge of Mississippian and Pennsylvanian rocks fills the basin, indicating a thrust load and sediment source (Ouachita thrust belt) on the southwest. A synorogenic clastic wedge in the Appalachian thrust belt (Cahaba synclinorium) is similar in provenance and dispersal to that in the Black Warrior basin, indicating that the palinspastic site of Appalachian thrust sheets was also part of the original Ouachita foreland. Greater thickness of the clastic wedge in the Cahaba synclinorium reflects partitioning of the Ouachita foreland by reactivation of the down-to-southeast Birmingham basement fault system. Addition of northwest-prograding clastic sediment during the Early Pennsylvanian records initiation of Appalachian orogenesis on the southeast. Subsequently, the southeastern part of the southwest-dipping Black Warrior foreland basin was displaced by northwest-propagating Appalachian thrusts, and part of the older, northeastward-prograding, Ouachita-derived clastic wedge was imbricated.
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Stratigraphic Evolution of Foreland Basins - A strong case can be made that foreland basins are where the casual links between sedimentation and tectonic events were first recognized, as evidenced by the interpretations of geologists working in classic foreland areas. This Special Publication was derived from a Research Symposium entitled ?Stratigraphic Sequences in Foreland Basins ?held at the AAPG-SEPM joint annual meeting on June, 1992, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This volume provides a well-balanced perspective of current research on foreland basin stratigraphy and also serves as another element in the evolving framework that comprises our understanding of foreland basins. Given that so many of earth?s resources are found in foreland basins and that foreland basin strata often provide the only preserved record of the tectonic events that led to basin development, the impetus for continued studies of foreland basin strata should remain for many generations of geologists to come.