Inversion of Taconian extensional structures during Paleozoic orogenesis in western Newfoundland
Published:November 11, 2019
Shawna E. White, John W. F. Waldron, 2019. "Inversion of Taconian extensional structures during Paleozoic orogenesis in western Newfoundland", Fifty Years of the Wilson Cycle Concept in Plate Tectonics, R. W. Wilson, G. A. Houseman, K. J. W. McCaffrey, A. G. Doré, S. J. H. Buiter
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West Newfoundland was critical in developing the Wilson Cycle concept. Neoproterozoic rifting established a passive margin adjacent to the Iapetus Ocean. Ordovician (Taconian) arc–continent collision emplaced ophiolites and the thin-skinned Humber Arm Allochthon. Subsequent Devonian (Acadian) ocean closure produced basement-cutting thrust faults that control the present-day distribution of units. New mapping, and aeromagnetic and seismic interpretation, around Parsons Pond enabled the recognition of structures in poorly exposed areas.
Following Cambrian to Middle Ordovician passive-margin deposition, Taconian deformation produced a flexural bulge unconformity. Subsequent extensional faults shed localized conglomerate into the foreland basin. The Humber Arm Allochthon contains a series of stacked and folded duplexes, typical of thrust belts. To the east, the Parsons Pond Thrust has transported shelf and foreland-basin units c. 8 km westwards above the allochthon. The Long Range Thrust shows major topographical expression but <1 km offset. Stratigraphic relationships indicate that most thrusts originated as normal faults, active during Neoproterozoic rifting, and subsequently during Taconian flexure. Devonian continental collision inverted the Parsons Pond and Long Range thrusts. Basement-cored fault-propagation folds in Newfoundland are structurally analogous to basement uplifts in other orogens, including the Laramide Orogen in western USA. Similar deep-seated inversion structures may extend through the northern Appalachians.
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Fifty Years of the Wilson Cycle Concept in Plate Tectonics
CONTAINS OPEN ACCESS
Fifty years ago, Tuzo Wilson published his paper asking ‘Did the Atlantic close and then re-open?’. This led to the ‘Wilson Cycle’ concept in which the repeated opening and closing of ocean basins along old orogenic belts is a key process in the assembly and breakup of supercontinents. The Wilson Cycle underlies much of what we know about the geological evolution of the Earth and its lithosphere, and will no doubt continue to be developed as we gain more understanding of the physical processes that control mantle convection, plate tectonics, and as more data become available from currently less accessible regions.
This volume includes both thematic and review papers covering various aspects of the Wilson Cycle concept. Thematic sections include: (1) the Classic Wilson v. Supercontinent Cycles, (2) Mantle Dynamics in the Wilson Cycle, (3) Tectonic Inheritance in the Lithosphere, (4) Revisiting Tuzo's question on the Atlantic, (5) Opening and Closing of Oceans, and (6) Cratonic Basins and their place in the Wilson Cycle.