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Book Chapter

Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain and Continental Margin: Basement and Mantle Structure and Continent-Ocean Transition

By
R.E. Sheridan
R.E. Sheridan
Dept. of Geology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903
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D.L. Musser
D.L. Musser
Dept. of Geology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903
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W.S. Holbrook
W.S. Holbrook
Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543
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L. Glover, III
L. Glover, III
Dept. of Geological Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State Univ., Blacksburg, VA 24061
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Published:
January 01, 1995

Abstract

The U.S. Mid-Atlantic continental margin was the site for the third project of EDGE, a program for seismic-reflection studies of the submerged continental lithosphere (Fig 1). The passive continental margin of eastern North America contains the roots of the Appalachian orogen which play a role in the formation of the modern margin. Consequently, the seismic data image major Appalachian structures as well as rift and drift structures. The EDGE transect includes a 560 km grid of seismic-reflection profiles MA 801-804 (Fig. 1). The grid is complemented by existing U.S.Geological Survey (USGS) line 28. The shots were recorded on 10 ocean bottom receivers (Holbrook and others, 1992,1993a) and 11 portable land seismic stations.

Several other recent seismic experiments have focussed on the poorly understood structural change across rifted continental margins. One of the most intriguing discoveries is the apparently widespread existence of usually high lower-crustal seismic velocities (7.2–7.4 km/s) in the continent-ocean transition zone (Diebold and others, 1988; Trehu and others, 1989a, b; Austin and others, 1990). These high velocities have been interpreted as evidence of voluminous magmatic underplating just prior to the initiation of seafloor spreading (White and others, 1987; White and McKenzie, 1989). In order to measure the amount of material that has been added to the crust of a continental margin by magmatism during rifting and breakup, accurate knowledge of the margin crustal structure is needed. The EDGE seismic data provide that information on the U.S. Atlantic continental margin. The data were collected off northern Virginia during the

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Figures & Tables

Contents

DNAG, Continent-Ocean Transect Series

E-3 Southwestern Pennsylvania to Baltimore Canyon Trough

Geological Society of America
Volume
19
ISBN electronic:
9780813754376
Publication date:
January 01, 1995

GeoRef

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