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Continental margin of the eastern United States: Past and present

Douglas W. Rankin
Douglas W. Rankin
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 926, National Center, Reston, Virginia 22092
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January 01, 1994


The continental margin of eastern North America has been studied as part of the North American Continent-Ocean Transect Program by synthesizing existing data along six corridors, each at least 100 km wide, between Newfoundland and Georgia that extend from the Phanerozoic craton to the oceanic crust. The term Phanerozoic craton is used here for a cratonal area that has not undergone significant deformation since the beginning of Phanerozoic time. One of these corridors is in Canada (Dl; Haworth and others, 1985), and two additional Canadian transects (D2 and D3; Keen and Haworth, 1985a, 1985b) cross the present continental margin, but do not extend westward to the craton. Herein I analyze the evolution of the eastern continental margin as depicted by the five corridors or transects, El through E5, prepared or in preparation for the United States. The five transects in eastern United States are outlined in Figure 1 and are as follows.

E1, Adirondacks to Georges Bank (Thompson and others, 1993). The corridor length is 1000 km.

E2, New York Appalachian basin to the Baltimore Canyon trough (Drake and others, unpublished). The corridor length is 860 km.

E3, Pittsburgh to Baltimore Canyon trough (Glover, 1989; Glover and others, unpublished). The corridor length is approximately 850 km.

E4, Central Kentucky to the Carolina trough (Rankin and others, 1991). The corridor length is 1100 km.

E5, Cumberland Plateau to Blake Plateau (Hatcher and others, 1994). The corridor length is approximately 1280 km. Because of the time constraints, E2 and E3 will not

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Figures & Tables


DNAG, Continent-Ocean Transect Series

Phanerozoic Evolution of North American Continent-Ocean Transitions

Robert C. Speed
Robert C. Speed
Department of Geological Sciences Northwestern University Evanston, Illinois 60208
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Geological Society of America
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January 01, 1994




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