Phanerozoic history of the central midcontinent, United States
Published:January 01, 1988
Bill J. Bunker, Brian J. Witzke, W. Lynn Watney, Greg A. Ludvigson, 1988. "Phanerozoic history of the central midcontinent, United States", Sedimentary Cover—North American Craton, L. L. Sloss
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The region of the central midcontinent has commonly been termed the “stable interior” of the North American continent. The magnitudes of Phanerozoic crustal deformation in the cratonic interior certainly are very small compared to those known from active continental margins, and the rates of deformation have been generally slower (Schwab, 1976). Nevertheless, the Phanerozoic sedimentary record in the central midcontinent region is replete with evidences of tectonic activity of surprising diversity and pattern. The central midcontinent, as defined for this report, includes Iowa, Kansas, southeastern South Dakota, Nebraska (excluding the panhandle), southern Minnesota, and Missouri north of 37°N latitude.
The Phanerozoic stratigraphic record in the central midcontinent region of North America is divided into six major depositional sequences, each bounded by major interregional unconformities (Sloss, 1963). The structural and stratigraphic development of this region is evaluated utilizing a series of isopach and paleogeologic maps constructed within the general framework of Sloss’ (1963) cratonic sequences (Fig. 1).
Figures & Tables
Sedimentary Cover—North American Craton
The “sedimentary cover” refers to the stratified rocks of youngest Proterozoic and Phanerozoic age that rest upon the largely crystalline basement rocks of the continental interior. The early chapters of the volume present data and interpretations of the geophysics of the craton and summarize, with sequential maps, the tectonic evolution of the craton. The main body of the text and accompanying plates and figures present the stratigraphy, structural history, and economic geology of specific sedimentary basins (e.g., Appalachian basin) and regions (e.g., Rocky Mountains). The volume concludes with a summary chapter in which the currently popular theories of cratonal tectonics are discussed and the unresolved questions are identified.