Subsidence and basin modeling at the U.S. Atlantic passive margin
Published:January 01, 1988
Michael S. Steckler, Anthony B. Watts, Julian A. Thorne, 1988. "Subsidence and basin modeling at the U.S. Atlantic passive margin", The Atlantic Continental Margin, Robert E. Sheridan, John A. Grow
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It was little more than a decade ago (Sheridan, 1974) that it was realized that the sedimentary thickness at the U.S. Atlantic margin was in excess of 10 km, 2 to 3 times the previous estimates of basement depth. In the years that followed, multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection profile data first became available (Schlee and others, 1976), the first deep offshore well was drilled (COST B-2 in March 1976), and industry and academic scientists rapidly increased their knowledge of the margin.
Concurrent with the increase in data, the first models of continental margin subsidence (Sleep, 1971; Falvey, 1974; McKenzie, 1978) were developed, and techniques for studying basin subsidence were introduced (Watts and Ryan, 1976; Van Hinte, 1978; Steckler and Watts, 1978). As a result, the U.S. Atlantic margin was one of the first to be subjected to quantitative subsidence analysis, and our present view of passive margin development has been greatly influenced by research at this margin. Thus, it is appropriate that we now assess what has been learned and what information may be obtained from future subsidence studies of this margin.
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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.