Abstract

Following partial closure of the northern Iapetus Ocean along the Newfoundland segment of the St. Lawrence Promontory, subsidence along the Anticosti Platform was influenced by residual thermal subsidence, renewed tectonic loading by thrust sheets to the south, and sediment loading. Basement subsidence, calculated by removing the effects of sediment loading, was between 2 and 5 cm/ka in the Caradocian, increasing to 8.6 cm/ka in the Pusgillian and Cautleyan, and reaching a maximum of 17.7 cm/ka in the Rawtheyan, during deposition of the Princeton Lake and Vauréal Formations. A marked decline in subsidence, beginning in the Hirnantian and continuing into the Early Silurian, may reflect decoupling of thrust loads to the south, although a further stage of thrust loading may have occurred in the Aeronian during deposition of the lower part of the Jupiter Formation. Storm frequency curves, produced using tempestite abundance, thickness, and grain size through more than a kilometre of carbonate strata on Anticosti Island, allow recognition of long period, 3rd-order trends. These are in part similar to local sea-level trends deduced from direct interpretation of sedimentary structures, but depart significantly from paleontological-based sea-level curves. Shorter period 4th-order cycles appear to be related to orbital eccentricity with periods of 100 and 400 ka. These may reflect periods with falling sea levels, increasing storm activity, or enhanced sediment flux to the middle and outer shelf.

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