The Cumberland Basin is one of several sedimentary basins composing the late Paleozoic Maritimes Basin complex of eastern Canada. Pennsylvanian salt tectonics in the Cumberland Basin caused two salt mini-basins to evolve on either side of the Minudie Anticline, a salt wall. South of the wall (Athol Syncline), along the Joggins World Heritage shoreline, an ∼3000 m succession of strata (Little River, Joggins, Springhill Mines, and Ragged Reef formations) accumulated conformably on the Boss Point Formation. North of the wall (Black Point sub-basin), the biostratigraphically equivalent, but mostly unstudied, ∼600 m thick succession of Grande Anse Formation lies in angular unconformity on folded and faulted Boss Point and basal Little River formations. Grande Anse Formation sedimentology indicates four lithofacies associations: floodplain (LA1), braided channel (LA2), sheet flood (LA3), and debris flow deposits (LA4). One possible model has the Black Point sub-basin with its own hydrological system, completely separated from the Athol Syncline. A low subsidence rate combined with the low sedimentation rate produced the ∼600 m thick sand- and mud-prone succession that was contemporaneous with the ∼3 km succession to the south. The second model proposes that north of the salt wall was exposed to erosion during accumulation of Joggins and Springhill Mines formation strata to the south. Subsequently, the sediment of the lithologically similar Ragged Reef and Grande Anse formations either (i) onlapped to the north, unconformably on the folded Boss Point; or (ii) unconformably–disconformably on the underlying strata after a period of time indistinguishable in the biostratigraphic record.

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