Abstract

Low-angle 25° to 35° dips have been determined for the border fault of the Newark basin near Riegelsville, Pennsylvania, on the basis of a Vibroseis profile and two continuously cored drill holes across faults at the basin margin. A group of moderately strong planar reflections in a zone 0.5 km thick in gneiss and carbonate rocks of the footwall block coincides with the updip projection of imbricate fault slices and mylonites associated with the Musconetcong thrust system of Drake et al. (1967). Contrasts in acoustic impedance among mylonitic dolostone and mylonitic gneiss and their protoliths, determined from measurements on samples from a third cored hole, are sufficiently large to account for reflections seen in the footwall block. Analysis of drill core and surface outcrops supports the conclusion that low-angle extensional faulting in the early Mesozoic was localized by reactivation of Paleozoic imbricate thrust faults in the basement rocks. Extension in the northwest-southeast quadrant was approximately perpendicular to the strike of the ancient thrust faults in eastern Pennsylvania. The data presented here are the most explicit three-dimensional information obtained thus far in the eastern United States in support of the concept of fault reactivation in controlling formation of early Mesozoic extensional basins.

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