Abstract

Stable paleomagnetic components in the Upper Devonian Catskill red beds yield a pole position at lat 43.5°N, long 124.2°E (A95 = 4.5°). On the basis of results from a regional fold test on a collection of 54 samples from nine sites in the central Appalachians, we conclude that the magnetization predates folding and is therefore pre-Permian in age. This Catskill pole is similar to previously published Devonian poles obtained from flat-lying formations of cratonic North America. The positive fold test of the Catskill red beds is the first for rocks of Devonian age from the North American craton and eliminates the possibility that a Permian remagnetization occurred. Some samples, moreover, contained antiparallel characteristic magnetizations of both normal and reversed polarity, which further strengthens the arguments for a Late Devonian age of the magnetization. The Devonian poles of cratonic North America are, as previously noted by Kent and Opdyke, significantly different from Late Devonian poles of the New England-Canadian Maritime province area. This suggests the possibility that after Late Devonian time, the New England-Maritime province underwent sinistral strike-slip movements relative to cratonic North America.

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