Advertisement

The Continental Margin of Eastern North America, Florida to Newfoundland

  • M. J. Keen

Abstract

It should be easy to write an account of the continental margin of eastern North America from Florida to Newfoundland because, by comparison with so many other margins, it has been studied in such detail. The task is made difficult, however, by the very wealth of information, and by the fact that, in spite of this wealth, many important geological questions still lie unanswered. For example, the origins of the magnetic “slope anomaly” and the magnetic “quiet zone” are not yet known, nor can we even describe the transition from the oceanic crust (Layers 2 and 3 of seismologists) to the continental crust. There are, perhaps, three objectives to meet in this chapter. First, to describe concisely what is known about this margin. Second, to relate these observations to the geological principles which may apply. Third, to show where there is still doubt and confusion, and suggest experiments which might be done to overcome this situation.

Keywords

Continental Shelf Continental Margin Fracture Zone Oceanic Crust Magnetic Anomaly 
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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Applin, P. L., 1951, Preliminary report on buried pre-Mesozoic rocks in Florida and adjacent states: U.S. Geological Survey, Circular 91.Google Scholar
  2. Auzende, J.-M., Olivet, J.-L., and Bonnin, J., 1971, La marge du Grand Banc et la fracture de Terre Neuve: C. R. Acad. Sc. Panis, t. 271, Série D, p. 1063–1066.Google Scholar
  3. Bartlett, G. A. and Smith, L., 1971, Mesozoic and Cenozoic history of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland: Can. J. Earth Sci., v. 8, p. 65–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bunce, E. T., Emery, K. O., Gerard, R. D., Knott, S. T., Lidz, L., Saito, T., and Schlee, J., 1965, Ocean drilling on the continental margin: Science, v. 150, p. 709–716.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Charm, W. B., Nesteroff, W. D., and Valdes, S., 1969, Detailed stratigraphic description of the JOIDES cores on the continental margin off Florida: U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 581-D.Google Scholar
  6. Curray, J. C., 1965, Late Quaternary history, continental shelves of the United States, in: The Quaternary of the United States, H. E. Wright, Jr., and D. G. Frey, eds.: Princeton University Press, Princeton, N. J., p. 723–735.Google Scholar
  7. Dainty, A. M., 1967, Crustal studies in eastern Canada: Ph.D. thesis, Dalhousie University, 144 p.Google Scholar
  8. Dainty, A. M., Keen, C. E., Keen, M. J., and Blanchard, J. E., 1966, Review of geophysical evidence on crust and uppermantle structure on the eastern seaboard of Canada: Amer. Geophys. Union, Monograph 10, p. 349-369.Google Scholar
  9. Dietz, R. S. and Holden, J. C., 1972, The breakup of Pangaea, in: Continents adrift; readings from Scientific American, J. Tuzo Wilson, ed.: Freeman and Co., San Francisco, p. 103–103.Google Scholar
  10. Drake, C. L., Ewing, M., and Sutton, G. H., 1959, Continental margins and geosynclines: the east coast of North America north of Cape Hatteras: Phys. and Chem. of the Earth, v. 3, p. 110–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Emery, K. O., 1966, Atlantic continental shelf and slope off the United States—geologic background: U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 529-A.Google Scholar
  12. Emery, K. O., 1969, The continental shelves, in: The Ocean, A Scientific American Book: Freeman and Co., San Francisco, p. 39–52.Google Scholar
  13. Emery, K. O., Uchupi, E., Phillips, J. D., Bowin, C. O., Bunce, E. T., and Knott, S. T., 1970, Continental rise off eastern North America: Amer. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 54, p. 44–108.Google Scholar
  14. Ewing, J. and Ewing, M., 1971, Seismic reflection, in: The Sea, Vol. 4, Part 1, A. E. Maxwell, ed.: J. Wiley and Sons, New York, p. 1–52.Google Scholar
  15. Fenwick, D. K. B., Keen, M. J., Keen, C. E., and Lambert, A., 1968, Geophysical studies of the continental margin northeast of Newfoundland: Can. J. Earth Sci., v. 5, p. 483–500.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Garrison, L. E., 1970, Development of continental shelf south of New England: Bull. Amer. Assoc. Petrol. Geol., v. 54, p. 109–124.Google Scholar
  17. Grant, A. C. and Manchester, K. S., 1970, Seismic reflection profile from the continental margin off Nova Scotia, Canada: AOL Data Series (1970) 6-D, Atlantic Oceanographie Laboratory, Dartmouth, N. S.Google Scholar
  18. Grant, D. R., 1970, Recent coastal submergence of the Maritime Provinces, Canada: Can. J. Earth Sci., v. 7, p. 676–689.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hallam, A., 1971, Mesozoic geology and the opening of the North Atlantic: Jour. Geology, v. 79, p. 129–157.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Heezen, B. C., Hollister, D. C., and Ruddiman, W. F., 1966, Shaping of the continental rise by deep geostrophic contour currents: Science, v. 152, p. 502–508.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Heirtzler, J. R. and Hayes, D. E., 1967, Magnetic boundaries in the North Atlantic Ocean: Science, v. 157, p. 185–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Helsley, C. E., 1972, Post Paleozoic magnetic reversals: Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, v. 53, p. 363.Google Scholar
  23. Horn, D. R., Ewing, M., Horn, B. M., and Delach, M. N., 1971, Turbidites of the Hatteras and Sohm abyssal plains, western North Atlantic: Mar. Geol., v. 11, p. 287–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Inman, D. L. and Nordstrom, C. E., 1971, On the tectonic and morphologic classification of coasts, Jour. Geology, v. 79, p. 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Irving, E., 1970, The Mid-Atlantic Ridge at 45°N; XIV Oxidation and magnetic properties of basalt: review and discussion: Can. J. Earth Sci., v. 7, p. 1528–1538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. James, N. P. and Stanley, D. J., 1968, Sable Island bank off Nova Scotia: Sediment dispersal and recent history: Amer. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 52, p. 2208–2230.Google Scholar
  27. Keen, C. E. and Barrett, D. L., 1972, Seismic refraction studies in Baffin Bay: Geophysical J., v. 30, p. 253–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Keen, C. E. and Loncarevic, B. D., 1966, Crustal structure on the eastern seaboard of Canada: studies on the continental margin: Can. J. Earth Sci., v. 3, p. 65–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Keen, M. J., 1969, Magnetic anomalies off the eastern seaboard of the United States: a possible edge effect: Nature, v. 222, p. 72–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Keen, M. J., 1970, A possible diapir in the Laurentian Channel: Can. J. Earth Sci., v. 7, p. 1561–1564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Keen, M. J. and Keen, C. E., 1971, Subsidence and fracturing on the continental margin: Geol. Surv. Can. Paper 71-23, p. 23-42.Google Scholar
  32. Keen, M. J., Loncarevic, B. D., and Ewing, G. N., 1971, The continental margin of eastern Canada: Nova Scotia to Nares Straits, in: The Sea, Vol. 4, Part 2: J. Wiley and Sons, New York, p. 251–291.Google Scholar
  33. King, L. H., 1967, On the sediments and stratigraphy of the Scotian Shelf, Bedford Institute of Oceanography Report 67-2, 32 pp.Google Scholar
  34. King, L. H., 1969, Submarine end moraines and associated deposits on the Scotian Shelf: Geol. Soc. Amer. Bull., v. 80, p. 83–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. King, L. H., 1970, Surficial geology of the Halifax-Sable Island map area, Marine Science Branch: Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Ottawa, Paper 1, including Chart 4040G.Google Scholar
  36. King, L. H., 1972, Relation of plate tectonics to the geomorphic evolution of the Canadian Atlantic Provinces: Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer., v. 83, p. 3083–3090.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. King, L. H. and MacLean, B., 1970, Continuous seismic-reflection study of the Orpheus gravity anomaly: Amer. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 54, p. 2007–2031.Google Scholar
  38. Larson, R. L. and Pitman, W. C., 1972, World-wide correlation of Mesozoic magnetic anomalies and its implications: Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer., v. 83, p. 3645–3662.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lauzier, L. M., 1967, Bottom residual drift on the continental shelf area of the Canadian Atlantic coast: Jour. Eish. Res. Board of Canada, v. 24, p. 1845–1859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. LePichon, X. and Fox, P. J., 1971, Marginal offsets, fracture zones and the early opening of the North Atlantic: J. Geophys. Res., v. 76, p. 6294–6308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Loncarevic, B. D. and Ewing, G. N., 1967, Geophysical study of the Orpheus gravity anomaly: Proceedings VII World Petroleum Congress, p. 828-835.Google Scholar
  42. Maher, J. C., 1965, Correlations of subsurface Mesozoic and Cenozoic rocks along the Atlantic Coast: Amer. Assoc. Petrol. Geol., Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A., 18 p., plates.Google Scholar
  43. Manheim, F. T., Meade, R. H., and Bond, G. C., 1970, Suspended matter in surface waters of the Atlantic continental margin from Cape Cod to the Florida Keys: Science, v. 167, p. 371–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mclver, N. L., 1972, Cenozoic and Mesozoic stratigraphy of the Scotian Shelf: Can. J. Earth Sci., v. 9, p. 54–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Meade, R. H., 1969, Landward transport of bottom sediments in estuaries of the Atlantic coastal plain: Jour. Sed. Pet., v. 39, p. 222–234.Google Scholar
  46. Meade, R. H., 1972, Sources and sinks of suspended matter on continental shelves, in: Shelf Sediment Transport: Process and Pattern, Swift, D. J. P., Duane, P. B., and Pilkey, O. H., eds.: Dowden Hutchinson and Ross, Stroudsburg, Pa.Google Scholar
  47. Milliman, J. D., Pilkey, O. H., and Ross, D. A., 1972, Sediments of the continental margin off the United States: Geol. Soc. Amer. Bull., v. 83, p. 1315–1334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mitchell, A. H. and Reading, H. G., 1969, Continental margins, geosynclines, and ocean floor spreading: Jour. Geology, v. 77, p. 629–646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Nafe, J. E. and Drake, C. L., 1969, Floor of the North Atlantic—summary of geophysical data: Amer. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Mem., v. 12, p. 59–87.Google Scholar
  50. Navado III, 1967, Bathymetric, magnetic and gravity investigations, H. Neith, M. S. Snellius, 1964–1965, Part 3, Hydrographie Newsletter, Special Publication Number 3, Part 3, Published by the Netherlands Hydrographer.Google Scholar
  51. Pautot, G., Auzenda, J.-M., and Le Pichon, X., 1970, Continuous deep sea salt layer along North Atlantic margins related to early phase of rifting: Nature, v. 227, p. 351–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Peterson, M. N. A., 1970, Initial reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project: U.S. Government Printing Office, Vol. II.Google Scholar
  53. Pitman, W. C., III, and Talwani, M., 1972, Sea-floor spreading in the North Atlantic: Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer., v. 83, p. 619–646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pratt, R. M., 1968, Atlantic continental shelf and slope of the United States—Physiography and sediments of the deep sea basin: U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 629-B.Google Scholar
  55. Renwick, G., Keen, C. E., and Keen, M. J., 1972, Magnetic and gravity anomalies off Nova Scotia, in preparation.Google Scholar
  56. Rona, P. A., 1970, Comparison of continental margins of eastern North America at Cape Hatteras and northwestern Africa at Cap Blanc: Amer. Assoc. Petrol. Geol., v. 54, p. 129–157.Google Scholar
  57. Ross, D. A., 1970, Atlantic continental shelf and slope of the United States—heavy minerals of the continental margin from southern Nova Scotia to northern New Jersey: U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 529-G.Google Scholar
  58. Sanders, J., 1963, Late Triassic tectonic history of north-eastern United States: Amer. J. Sci., v. 261, p. 501–514.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sbar, M. L. and Sykes, L. R., 1973, Contemporary compressive stress and seismicity in eastern North America: Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer., v. 84, p. 1861–1882.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Schenk, P. E., 1971, Southeastern Atlantic Canada, Northwestern Africa and continental drift: Can. J. Earth Sci., v. 8, p. 1218–1251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Schlee, J. and Pratt, R. M., 1970, Atlantic continental shelf and slope of the United States—gravels of the northeastern part: U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 529-14.Google Scholar
  62. Schneider, E. D., 1969, The Deep-Sea: a habitat for petroleum?: Under Sea Technology, v. 10(10), p. 32–57.Google Scholar
  63. Scholle, P. A. and Kling, S. A., 1972, Southern British Honduras: lagoonal coccolith ooze: J. Sed. Petrol., v. 42, p. 195–204.Google Scholar
  64. Sleep, N. H., 1971, Thermal effects of the formation of Atlantic continental margins by continental break-up: Geophys. J., v. 24, p. 325–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Smith, W. E. T., 1967, Basic seismology and seismicity of eastern Canada: Dom. Obs. Publ., Seis. Ser. 1966-2, 43 p.Google Scholar
  66. Spangler, W. and Peterson, J., 1950, Geology of the Atlantic coastal plain in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia: Amer. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Bull., v. 34, p. 1–21.Google Scholar
  67. Stanley, D. J., 1969, Atlantic continental shelf and slope of the United States—color of marine sediments: U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 529-D.Google Scholar
  68. Stanley, D. J., Curray, J. R., Middleton, G. V., and Swift, D. J. P., 1969, The new concepts of continental margin sedimentation: Short Course Lecture Notes: American Geological Institute, Washington.Google Scholar
  69. Stanley, D. J., Swift, D. J. P., Silverberg, N., James, N. P., and Sutton, R. G., 1972, Late Quaternary progradation and sand spillover on the outer continental margin off Nova Scotia, Canada: Smithsonian contributions to the earth sciences, No. 8, Smithsonian Institution Press, 88 p.Google Scholar
  70. Stevenson, I. M., 1959, Shubenacadie and Kennetcook map areas, Nova Scotia: Geol. Surv. Can. Mem. 302, p. 6-41.Google Scholar
  71. Swain, F. M., 1952, Ostracoda from wells in North Carolina: Part 2. Mesozoic Ostracoda: U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 234-B, 93 p.Google Scholar
  72. Swift, D. J. P., 1970, Quaternary shelves and the return to grade: Mar. Geol., v. 8, p. 5–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Swift, D. J. P., Stanley, D. J., and Curray, J. R., 1971, Relict sediments on continental shelves: a reconsideration: Jour. Geology, v. 79, p. 322–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Talwani, M. and Eldholm, O., 1972, The continental margin off Norway and the magnetic Quiet Zone: Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, v. 53, p. 406.Google Scholar
  75. Uchupi, E., 1968, Atlantic continental shelf and slope of the United States—Physiography: U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Paper 529-C.Google Scholar
  76. Vogt, P. R., 1970, Magnetized basement outcrops on the southeast Greenland continental shelf: Nature, v. 226, p. 743–744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Vogt, P. R., Einwich, A., and Johnson, G. L., 1972, A preliminary Jurassic and Cretaceous reversal chronology from marine magnetic anomalies in the western North Atlantic: Trans. Amer. Geophys. Union, v. 53, p. 363.Google Scholar
  78. Whitmore, F. C., Emery, K. O., Cooke, H. B. S., and Swift, D. J. P., 1967, Elephant teeth from the Atlantic continental shelf: Science, v. 156, p. 1477–1481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Williams, H., Kennedy, M. J., and Neale, E. R. W., 1972, The Appalachian structural province, in: Tectonic Style in Canada: editors R. A. Price and R. J. W. Douglas, Spec. Paper Geol. Assoc. Can., Number 11, p. 181-262.Google Scholar
  80. Woollard, G. P., 1972, Regional variations in gravity, in: The Nature of the Solid Earth, E. C. Robertson, ed.: McGraw Hill, New York, p. 463–505.Google Scholar
  81. Zietz, I., 1970, Eastern continental margin of the United States: Part 1, a magnetic study, in: The Sea, Vol. 4, Part 2: J. Wiley and Sons, New York, p. 293–310.Google Scholar

Useful Charts

  1. American Association of Petroleum Geologists, 1970, Bathymetric maps eastern continental margin, U.S.A. Three sheets. Amer. Assoc. Petrol. Geol., Tulsa, Oklahoma.Google Scholar
  2. Canadian Hydrographic Service, 1969, Bay of Fundy to Gulf of St. Lawrence, Chart 801, First edition, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Ottawa.Google Scholar
  3. Canadian Hydrographie Service, 1970, Newfoundland Shelf, Chart 802, First edition, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Ottawa.Google Scholar
  4. Canadian Hydrographie Service, 1971, Relief diagram of the continental margin of eastern North America, Chart 810, First edition, Department of the Environment, Ottawa.Google Scholar
  5. King, L. H., 1970, Surficial geology of the Halifax-Sable Island map area, Marine Sciences Branch, Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, Ottawa, Paper 1, including chart 4040G.Google Scholar
  6. National Geographic Society, 1968, Atlantic ocean floor, Atlas Plate 62, Washington.Google Scholar
  7. Uchupi, E., 1965, Map showing relation of land and submarine topography, Nova Scotia to Florida, U.S. Geol. Survey Misc. Geol. Inv. Map 1-451, 3 sheets, scale 1:1,000,000.Google Scholar

Additional References

  1. The following references which have appeared since the manuscript was written will be found useful to readers who seek up-to-date information.Google Scholar
  2. Barrett, D. L. and Keen, C. E., 1973. Lineations in the magnetic quiet zone of the northwest Atlantic: Jour. Geophys. Res. (in press).Google Scholar
  3. Emery, K. O. and Uchupi, E., 1972. Western North Atlantic Ocean: topography, rocks, structure, water, life and sediments: Amer. Assoc. Petrol. Geol. Memoir No. 17.Google Scholar
  4. Keen, C. E., Keen, M. J., Barrett, D. L., and Heffler, D. E., 1973. Some aspects of the ocean-continent transition at the continental margin of eastern North America: Jour. Geophys. Res. (in press).Google Scholar
  5. Swift, D. J. P., Duane, D. B., and Pilkey, O. H., 1972. (Editors), Shelf Sediment Transport: Process and Pattern. Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross, Inc., Stroudsburg, Pa., U.S.A.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Keen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeologyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

Personalised recommendations