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The Geophysics of the North Atlantic Basin

  • H. C. Noltimier

Abstract

The areal extent of the North Atlantic basin has been studied in some detail with regard to its geology, physiography, and bottom structure. Since the early 1960’s, additional emphasis has been placed on geophysical studies such as heat flow, magnetic anomalies, and seismicity. These results have tended to support the earlier ideas of continental drift as they applied to the development of the Atlantic Ocean from an initial rift between the present continental masses of North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. Paleomagnetic studies in the Americas and Europe have held that the present Atlantic Ocean is a Late Triassic to post-Triassic feature and has evolved slowly over a period of perhaps 200 m.y. The more recent studies of both the northern and southern Atlantic basins have refined these ideas to the extent that the hypothesis of sea-floor spreading in the Atlantic is reasonably consistent with most geological observations in the basin itself and around the margins. In a fairly direct way these relationships apply constraints on geological and geophysical inferences regarding the history of the North Atlantic rather more rigorous than at first imagined, and in this sense encourage a more unified approach in the geological sciences.

Keywords

Continental Margin Oceanic Crust Magnetic Anomaly Ocean Basin Abyssal Plain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. C. Noltimier
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of HoustonHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geology and MineralogyOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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