Stratigraphy, Depositional Processes, and Depositional History
Published:January 01, 1988
Geological and geophysical knowledge of the U.S. Atlantic margin has advanced rapidly during the last ten years, spurred by commercial interest in offshore petroleum exploration. The U.S. Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.), in particular, has been instrumental in providing thousands of line-kilometers of seismic reflection, geomagnetic, and gravity surveys. Several academic research institutions, such as Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, University of Rhode Island, Duke University, University of Georgia, University of Miami, and University of Texas have also contributed heavily to this geophysical data base. Geologic ground truth has been acquired, at the same time, from 5 deep (4,000 ± m) Continental Offshore Stratigraphic Test (COST) wells, 46 exploratory wildcat wells, 41 intermediate depth (300 m) coreholes (Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling [JOIDES]; Atlantic Slope Project [ASP]; Atlantic Margin Coring Project [AMCOR]), a few Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) core holes, and several hundred shallow-penetration (3-10 m) cores, seabed grab samples, and submersible samples (see Poag, 1978; 1982a,b; 1985a,b,c).
Four major offshore basins and troughs have been identified as a result of these research efforts. We summarize the stratigraphic framework and depositional history of the three best studied features (Georges Bank basin, Baltimore Canyon trough, and Blake Plateau basin), emphasizing their main features with a cross section through each basin. For additional regional compilations the reader should consult Bryan and Heirtzler (1984), Ewing and Rabinowitz (1984), Uchupi and Shor (1984) and Poag (1985c).
Figures & Tables
The Atlantic Continental Margin
This synthesis covers stratigraphy, depositional processes, and geophysical interpretation of the major onshore and offshore marginal basins from Maine to the Bahamas, and includes an up-to-date review of thinking on regional tectonic history. Additional chapters discuss the theoretical aspects of thermal evolution, subsidence, and seismic stratigraphy as applied to this region. Geological resources including petroleum, water, sand and gravel, hard minerals, and heat flow are reviewed, and environmental hazards such as seismicity, coastal erosion, waste disposal and submarine instability as it relates to site of drilling platforms and mining are evaluated. A summary chapter reviews areas of controversy and suggests key topics for research.