Upper Cenozoic processes and environments of continental margin sedimentation: eastern United States
Published:January 01, 1988
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Stanley R. Riggs, Daniel F. Belknap, 1988. "Upper Cenozoic processes and environments of continental margin sedimentation: eastern United States", The Atlantic Continental Margin, Robert E. Sheridan, John A. Grow
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Most early studies of the U.S. Atlantic continental margin were dominated by the concept of 'layer-cake' stratigraphy with disruptions in continuity often explained by 'yo-yo' processes of basin faulting. Recent studies now demonstrate that these two concepts are not totally satisfactory in explaining the stratigraphic patterns of the past 24-million-year history of the Atlantic margin.
During the past two decades, increasing sophistication of such tools as high-resolution seismic stratigraphy, biostratigraphic time zonations, and absolute dating techniques have provided a detailed basis for interregional correlations and environmental interpretations of upper Cenozoic lithostratigraphic units. The coastal plain and continental shelf are now recognized as parts of a coherent geologic province on a passive plate margin that have responded as an integral unit to complex sets of rapidly changing environmental conditions. The resulting upper Cenozoic sediment record is characterized by extremely variable lithologies with complex geometries and which are extensively dissected by unconformities.
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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.