Pollen and Spores Date Origin of Rift Basins from Texas to Nova Scotia as Early Late Triassic

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Science  12 Jun 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4807, pp. 1469-1472
DOI: 10.1126/science.236.4807.1469


Palynological studies of the nonmarine Newark Supergroup of eastern North America and of rift basins in the northern Gulf of Mexico facilitate correlation with well-dated marine sections of Europe. New information emphasizes the chronological link between the Newark basins and a Gulf of Mexico basin and their common history in the rifting of North America from Pangea. Shales from the subsurface South Georgia Basin are shown to be of late Karnian age (early Late Triassic). The known time of earliest sedimentation in the Culpeper Basin is extended from Norian (late Late Triassic) to mid-Karnian, and the date of earliest sedimentation in the Richmond and Deep River basins is moved to at least earliest Karnian, perhaps Ladinian. The subsurface Eagle Mills Formation in Texas and Arkansas has been dated palynologically as mid- to late Karnian. The oldest parts of the Newark Supergroup, and the Eagle Mills Formation, mostly began deposition in precursor rift basins that formed in Ladinian to early Karnian time. In the southern Newark basins, sedimentation apparently ceased in late Karnian but continued in the northern basins well into the Jurassic, until genesis of the Atlantic ended basin sedimentation.