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The U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico continental margins are thickly sedimented passive margins that formed when Pangea split apart during Middle Jurassic time to create the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Keys to understanding the process of continental breakup and its relation to preexisting structure are found in the structure of the crust beneath the sediment-filled basins and adjacent platforms and embayments that outline the margins. Because of the great thickness of post-rift sedimentary rock in the basins and the presence of massive reef carbonates and salt layers and diapirs, the crustal structure beneath the basins in the...

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