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This chapter summarizes the major findings of the foregoing chapters and highlights the critical factors in the geologic development of the U.S. Atlantic Continental Margin. In addition, we point out the limitations of the syntheses as a warning that much of what is written is speculative, based on inconclusive data, and/or somewhat dated. In most cases, individual authors have identified uncertainties of interpretations within the chapters themselves, but the reader might fail to recognize these caveats and qualifications.

During the course of the compilation of this volume, some of the chapters were submitted as early as two years prior to final publication. Consequently, some aspects of these chapters are dated. We know of data being released in 1986 and 1987 that are very pertinent to the syntheses of the Atlantic Continental Margin. Unfortunately, these data were not available in time for inclusion in this volume, and, thus, there are some deficiencies. However, on the whole the syntheses are current and represent up-to-date summaries of thinking on the subjects.

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