The Mesozoic North Atlantic rift systems are superimposed on Precambrian and Paleozoic base-ment complexes and are only partly aligned with their structural grain. The Triassic to mid-Jurassic evolution of the North Atlantic rift system can be related to the southward propagation of the late Paleozoic Norwegian-Greenland Sea rift and the westward propagation of the Permo-Triassic Tethys rifts. Following mid-Jurassic crustal separation in the central Atlantic, rifting and later sea- floor spreading propagated during the Late Jurassic and Cretaceous northward into the Labrador Sea- Baffin Bay. During the Late Cretaceous and Paleo- cene, compressional intraplate stresses emanating from the Alpine collision ration between Greenland and Europe. When these stresses were relaxed, the North Atlantic sea-floor- spreading axes propagated during the earliest Eocene into the Norwegian-Greenland Sea.
The evolution of rifted basins in the North Atlan-tic domain shows great variations in duration of the rifting stage, thermal doming, and volcanism. Upper crustal extension values derived from seis-mic reflection profiles can provide new constraints for palinspastic reconstructions of the North Atlantic. It is believed that the Moho can become seriously destabilized during rifting processes. Rifting models need to be tested against Trans-Atlantic paleotransects covering conjugate margins.
Figures & Tables
Extensional Tectonics and Stratigraphy of the North Atlantic Margins
Stimulated by the wealth of frontier exploration data and deep seismic surveys about the North Atlantic margins, this publication was crafted to provide a comprehensive analysis of North Atlantic extension. The 40 papers in this volume are divided into 6 sections: concepts, North Atlantic perspectives, North American margins, European-African margins, North Sea and Barents Shelf, and analogs. This book is concerned primarily with the circum-North Atlantic data base. It is largely biased toward presentation and interpretation of data rather than being model driven. The book includes comparative stratigraphic columns for basins of the North Atlantic margins.