Abstract

New seismic reflection data gathered during hydrocarbon exploration in and adjacent to the external Humber zone, western Newfoundland, have important implications for the interpretation of structural style at the Appalachian front. These new data indicate that the structural front is influenced by both thin-skinned and thick-skinned structures. Where the structural front is thin skinned, it is characterized by a triangle zone, or tectonic wedge, similar to structures observed at the southeastern margin of the Canadian Cordillera, and at other orogenic fronts. The thin-skinned tectonic wedge is overridden locally by thick-skinned thrusts, which are generally emergent but are locally blind, forming a thick-skinned tectonic wedge. Timing relationships indicate that, although initial motion occurred during the Early to Middle Ordovician Taconian orogeny, the thin-skinned allochthonous slices in western Newfoundland were not emplaced until Devonian time (the Acadian orogeny). Thick-skinned deformation, which postdates thin-skinned thrusting, probably occurred between Middle Devonian and earliest Carboniferous time.

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