Much of North America, particularly most of its major population centers, is underlain by sedimentary basins. Within them, ground water and fossil fuel resources are concentrated. It is therefore not surprising that there is a great deal of interest in the history and evolution of the Phanerozoic basins of North America.
In the following I can only highlight but a few significant facets that concern the sedimentary basins of our continent. The main focus will be on the cratonic basin development of North America because many of the other basins are already treated separately in the different chapters of this volume. My aim will be to compare and contrast the many sedimentary basins and to focus somewhat on coeval subsidence patterns in North America.
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Summaries of the major features of the geology of North America and the adjacent oceanic regions are presented. Twenty chapters include concise reviews of current thinking about Precambrian basement, Phanerozoic orogens, cratonic basins, passive-margin geology of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions, marine and terrestrial geology of the Caribbean region, marine geology of the North Atlantic and northeast Pacific oceans, Quaternary geology, hydrogeology, and economic geology. An excellent text for a graduate course or upper-level undergraduate course in regional geology. Includes tables of contents for the other volumes in this series. Extended selected references also available.