Abstract

Accreted terranes of the Appalachian Iapetan and peri-Gondwanan realms display structural trends that are mainly concordant with promontories and embayments in the Laurentian margin, indicating that during accretion, the shape of the continental margin acted as a template around which accreted terranes were molded. In North Carolina and New-foundland, post-accretion transcurrent motion appears to be recorded by displaced outboard portions of promontories, no longer concordant with those in Laurentia. A bend in structural trends confined to the peri-Gondwanan realm at the North Carolina–South Carolina state line is interpreted to represent the dextrally displaced outboard portion of the Virginia promontory. In Newfoundland, the Hermitage flexure is interpreted as a dextrally displaced Laurentian promontory that originated along strike to the northeast. In both places, promontories were truncated and dextrally translated for ~220–250 km by a Devonian–Mississippian orogen-parallel transcurrent system, which may well have extended for the length of the eastern Laurentian margin. South of the nearby St. Lawrence promontory, extreme thinning of Appalachian crust beneath the Maritimes Basin is consistent with extension at a releasing stepover. Estimates of extension are consistent with those obtained from promontory offsets.

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