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Book Chapter

Historical Note—The Great American Carbonate Bank in the Northern Appalachians: Cambrian–Ordovician (Sauk), Albany Basin, New York

By
Gerald M. Friedman
Gerald M. Friedman
Northeastern Science Foundation, Troy, New York, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2012

Abstract

The northern Appalachian sedimentary deposit consists of strata that are related to tectonic movements in two significant ways: (1) they are controlled by large-scale tectonic movements and (2) strata that were horizontal when deposited are no longer horizontal and can be used to delineate and measure the extent of structural deformation.

Among the most influential alumni of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New York, was James Hall (1811–1898), the “Father of the Geosyncline.” Hall (1859) was the originator of the geosynclinal concept (Sharpe, 1998). The concept of a geosyncline was inspired by the geologic relationships that were worked out for the northern Appalachian Mountains. Hall observed that, where the Paleozoic marine strata in the interior of North America are thin (thicknesses of only a few hundreds or a few thousands of meters), they are flat lying. By contrast, in the Appalachians, thicknesses of equivalent strata amount to thousands of meters and the strata are not horizontal. Hall hypothesized that the substance of the strata within a trough, where they would be extra thick, provided the mechanism for folding them.

Both Hall and James Dwight Dana emphasized an important inference about the Appalachian area that had subsided, throughout the thousands of meters of vertical sinking, the depth of the marine waters had remained shallow (Figure 1). In other words, subsidence had been more or less exactly matched by accumulation of sediment. The original idea that a part of the sea floor might subside and yet sediment could

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Contents

Memoir

Great American Carbonate Bank: The Geology and Economic Resources of the Cambrian—Ordovician Sauk Megasequence of Laurentia

James Derby
James Derby
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Richard Fritz
Richard Fritz
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Susan Longacre
Susan Longacre
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William Morgan
William Morgan
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Charles Sternbach
Charles Sternbach
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
98
ISBN electronic:
9781629810201
Publication date:
January 01, 2012

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