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The breakup of Pangea in the central Atlantic occurred at a time of worldwide plate reorganization, embracing both the terminal phases of Pangean consolidation and the early phases of Pangean extension. The breakup developed along the thickened and highly elevated Variscan-Alieghanian orogen that was the site of Late Paleozoic polyphase deformation, which ultimately led to the formation of Late Paleozoic, late orogenic, wrench-formed basins. These late orogenic basins of the northern Appalachians and Morocco may have formed by tectonic escape as the collision of Gondwana and Laurasia forced the Hercynian-European plate northeast along major dextral shears.

Fission-track and isotopic data...

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