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Relative changes in sea level may result from local or regional tectonics, from eustatic cycles, or from a combination of the above mechanisms. The stratigraphy and structural history of late Jurassic to early Tertiary sediments deposited in the Avalon Basin on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland were examined in an attempt to establish the sequence of sea-level changes and to determine the mechanisms responsible for those changes. Many sea-level changes can be correlated from the North American Atlantic Coast to northern Europe, but it is unclear whether this synchroneity resulted from regional tectonics associated with the opening of the North Atlantic or is related to eustatic events. Local tectonism was responsible for the depositional sequences which created the major oil reservoirs in the Avalon Basin, and these conditions may not be repeated elsewhere on the Atlantic Shelf.

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