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Abstract

The Grand Banks has experienced at least 225 m.y. of basin formation and subsidence. In the Jeanne d'Arc basin a stratigraphic succession 17 km thick preserves this record. The dominant period of rifting spanned 45 m.y. of late Callovian to Aptian time, in which we recognize three evolutionary stages of synrift subsidence. The first stage (late Callovian-middle Kimmeridgian) lasted about 12 m.y. and was characterized by minor structural relief and argillaceous-calcareous sedimentation. There followed a 20 m.y. period (late Kim- meridgian-early Valanginian) dominated by intense normal faulting and high structural relief, during which time fluvially dominated, restricted basin environments were common. The third stage (late Valanginian-early Aptian) was characterized by reduced normal faulting and prominent orthogonal transfer faulting. Marine environments were wide-spread. Expansion of the basin beyond the rift shoulders suggests that a component of thermal relaxation overprinted the late-stage rift basin. Transition to the postrift era was marked by a pro-nounced unconformity and detachment of the cover sequence above tilted transfer fault blocks.

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