Triassic-Jurassic Rifting book cover

Triassic-Jurassic Rifting

Continental Breakup and the Origin of the Atlantic Ocean and Passive Margins

Extensive field studies on the African and North American plates during this past decade have yielded a wealth of new data and ideas about rift basins and the origin of passive margins. New surface and subsurface basins have been identified; fossils abound in strata that only recently were considered barren; oil exploration is being actively pursued in continental strata of the Richmond-Taylorsville, Sanford and Newark basins, Late Triassic marine strata have been identified in Georges Bank off the coast of Massachusetts, and the roles of wrench tectonics, successor basins and listric normal faults have challenged the classical view that these are simple extensional basins.This two part work brings together representative examples of these studies. It is not intended as an exhaustive synthesis of the subject, but rather a vehicle to present new data, new ideas and alternative views. Some of the papers present regional summaries, others attempt to relate local features to regional questions, while others describe modern rift basins as possible analogs of early Mesozoic basins.Geologic data from the Atlantic passive margins record that continental rifting of central Pangaea occurred during the latest Triassic-earliest Jurassic (Liassic), and that sea-floor spreading probably began no later than the Middle Jurassic. The primary subject of this book focuses on the Triassic-Jurassic rifting events that led to the breakup of Pangaea and the opening of the central Atlantic Ocean. Whereas other treatises have focused on the origin of the passive margins, inferred primarily from geophysical data of the offshore basins, this volume primarily and uniquely focuses on land-based field studies of the onshore synrift basins. Offshore studies of synrift basins are also included and add substantially to our understanding of the breakup. However, the onshore data base, while complementary, is different, thus providing researchers with a different insight to the questions at hand.The book is organized into four sections. Section I, Pangaean Plate in Time and Space, first locates Pangaea in space and then places the Triassic basins within an historical context on the Alleghanian-Variscan Orogens. Section 2, the offshore and onshore basins of the North American and African Plates, comprises about 70% of all papers in this book, and includes papers on structural geology, petrology, paleontology, sedimentation, organic geochemistry, vulcanism and mineral resources. Section 3, Related Mesozoic Atlantic Rift Basins, includes papers on Iberia, Western Europe, the Benue Trough and Brazil. The final section of the book, Analogs, includes the rift basins of East Africa, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Elat (Aqaba), the Dead Sea and the Rio Grande.The book is richly illustrated throughout with figures, photographs, tables and fold-out maps, including nine in full colour.

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Published: December 1988

Imprint: Elsevier

ISBN: 978-0-444-42903-2

Reviews

  • The collection of papers reviewed here is therefore not only of historical importance, but represents a timely and appropriate contribution to a field of major research interest.... In an anthology of this size, quality is bound to vary, but only a couple of contributions are truly weak. Some are good, although of limited scope; the sorts of papers that can be found in any one of a number of specialist journals, but several chapters are reviews or regional studies which represent outstanding, state-of-the-art syntheses of many aspects of these basins. The editor, Warren Manspeizer, who himself provides an excellent synthesis of the origin, history and significance of the Newark Supergroup basins, is to be congratulated on gathering together such a fine collection of papers... All in all this is a highly successful compilation of papers which will provide a standard source of reference on the Early Mesozoic of the North Atlantic margins for some time to come. The presentation is excellent.., figures are of high quality, and for a work of this scale typographical errors are remarkably few.
    M. Talbot, Sedimentology


    This is a splendid work on the critical part of the history of one of the great oceans of the world. It also provides us with a detailed model for looking at passive margins generally.
    Marine Geology, 1992

Contents

  • PART A. I. Pangaean plate in time and space. 1. Variscan-Alleghanian Orogen (N. Rast). 2. Triassic-Jurassic plate migrations and paleogeographic reconstructions in the Atlantic domain (R. van der Voo). II. Basins: North American and African plates. 3. Triassic-Jurassic rifting and opening of the Atlantic: An overview (W. Manspeizer). Offshore. 4. Evolution of rift basins on the continental margin off southern New England (D.R. Hutchinson, K.D. Klitgord). 5. Early Mesozoic rift basins and the development of the United States middle Atlantic continental margin (R.N. Benson, R.G. Doyle). 6. Extensional tectonics, structural styles and stratigraphy of the Mesozoic Grand Banks of Newfoundland (A.J. Tankard, H.J. Welsink). 7. Biostratigraphy of the COST G-2 well (Georges Bank): A record of Late Triassic synrift evaporite deposition; Liassic doming; and mid-Jurassic to Miocene postrift marine sedimentation (H.L. Cousminer, W.E. Steinkraus). Onshore. 8. Paleontology and paleoecology of the Newark Supergroup (Early Mesozoic, eastern North America) (P.E. Olsen). 9. Sedimentology of braided-river deposits in Upper Triassic Wolfville redbeds, southern shore of Cobequid Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada (J.F. Hubert, M.F. Forlenza).10. Massive mudstones in basin analysis and paleoclimate interpretation of the Newark Supergroup (J.P. Smoot, P.E. Olsen). 11. Mesozoic tectogenesis: Development and deformation of `Newark' rift zones in the Appalachians (with special emphasis on the Hartford Basin, Connecticut) (J. Zeilinga de Boer, A.E. Clifford). 12. A foreland-type fold and related structures in the Newark rift basin (M. Lucas et al). 13. Petrology of Mesozoic sandstones in the Newark basin, central New Jersey and adjacent New York (M.E. Oshchudlak, J.F. Hubert). 14. Structure and hydrocarbon potential of the Gettysburg basin, Pennsylvania and Maryland (S. Root). 15. Late Triassic and Early Jurassic lacustrine sedimentation in the Culpeper basin, Virginia (P.J.W. Gore). 16. A gravity and magnetic study of the Triassic Richmond basin, Virginia (K.L. Mickus et al). 17. Late Triassic depositional history of the Richmond and Taylorsville basins, eastern Virginia (R. Ressetar, G.K. Taylor). 18. A kinematic model for the evolution of Richmond Triassic basin, Virginia (R. Venkatakrishnan, R. Lutz). 19. Early Mesozoic faults of the northern Gulf Coastal Plain in the context of opening of the Atlantic Ocean (W.A. Thomas). 20. Triassic sedimentation and rifting in the High Atlas (Morocco) (J. Beauchamp). 21. A multiple releasing and restraining stepover model for the Jurassic strike-slip basin of the Central High Atlas (Morocco) (E. Laville). PART B. Evaporite basins. 22. Evaporite deposits of the North Atlantic rift (W.T. Holser et al). Igneous activity. 23. Chemical and physical constraints on petrogenesis and emplacement of ENA olivine diabase magma types (D. Whittington). 24. Eastern North American quartz tholeites: Geochemistry and petrology (J.H. Puffer, A.R. Philpotts). 25. Tectonic and paleostress patterns of Mesozoic intrusions in eastern North America (J.G. McHone). Mineral resources and fossil fuels. 26. Base- and precious-metal mineralization associated with igneous and thermally altered rocks in the Newark, Gettysburg, and Culpeper Early Mesozoic basins of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia (G.R. Robinson, Jr.). 27. Coal deposits of the Newark rift system (E.I. Robbins et al). 28. The level of organic maturity within the Newark basin and its associated implications (B.J. Katz et al). 29. Early Mesozoic lacustrine petroleum source rocks in the Culpeper basin, Virginia (M.A. Smith, C.R. Robison). III. Related Mesozoic Atlantic rift basins. Western Europe. 30. Post-Hercynian plate reorganization in the Tethys and Arctic - North Atlantic domains (P.A. Ziegler). Iberia. 31. Permian and Triassic rift basins of the Iberian Peninsula (A. Sopeña et al). West Africa. 32. The Benue trough: Wrench-fault related basin on the border of the Equatorial Atlantic (J. Benkhelil et al). 33. Late Mesozoic rifting in Africa (J.D. Fairhead). Brazil. 34. Mesozoic rift basins around the Northeast Brazilian microplate (Recôncavo-Tucano-Jatobá, Sergipe-Alagoas) (E.J. Milani et al). IV. Analogs. 35. The structural and stratigraphic evolution of Lake Tanganyika: A case study of continental rifting (C.F. Burgess et al). 36. A review of the relations between the tectonics, sedimentation and petroleum occurrences of the Dead Sea - Jordon rift system (E.L. Kashai). 37. A comparison of the Newark and Rio Grande rift systems and associated magmatism (G.R. Keller, J.D. Hoover). 38. Modern sedimentation in the Gulf of Elat (Aqaba): A review (G.M. Friedman). 39. The Red Sea: History and associated mineralization (P. Guennoc et al). Index.

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