An early reviewer of this book stated that he had difficulty assessing its marketability because it "falls between the cracks" of geological literature. We have designed this book to meet a need of modem geology: namely, a single source providing both detailed and synoptic stratigraphy of the various regions of North America, through geological time. Shortly after beginning work on such a book, we realized why it had not yet been written: it required six years of effort, assimilation of an incredible amount of information, and two years' additional work to cut the volume down to publishable size. Further, by the time the final chapter was written, the fIrst few were already out of date. Nevertheless, the book lies in front of you. It is intended to serve several purposes. As a textbook, it will serve the following courses: • Regional stratigraphy • Sedimentary tectonics • Regional tectonics • Advanced historical geology • Survey-level paleontology Obviously, not all portions of the book are relevant to all of the above courses. We assume the reader will retain this book after the particular course is done, and will use it as a reference book. Hopefully, others will obtain the book solely for reference purposes. We believe it will be especially useful for the working geologist or academic geologist seeking generalized and some moderately detailed information about a region or geological time interval which is unfamiliar.
In recent years there have been rapid strides in our understanding of plate-tectonic processes, many developments in methods of basin analysis, and the accumulation of much new surface and subsurface geological and geophysical data. Projects such as COCORP (in the United States) and Lithoprobe (in Canada) have provided essential insights into the deep crustal structure of the continent. Synthesis of all the available information about North America’s geological regions has not been attempted systematically since the “Decade of North American Geology project undertaken by the Geological Society of America and the Geological Survey of Canada nearly twenty years ago. The book commences with a summary of the Phanerozoic geological history of the United States and Canada, illustrated with a suite of new paleogeographic maps, and tying in each of the subsequent regional chapters by the inclusion of numerous cross-references. This followed by a set of fifteen regional syntheses of the principal tectonic regions of the United States and Canada, focusing on the stratigraphic and tectonic history of the major sedimentary basins. Most of these chapters have been contributed by specialists, drawing on their own research, and providing interpretive summaries of a type not previously attempted.
* Up-to-date synthesis of the sedimentary/tectonic history of the major areas of the United States and Canada * Up-to-date references * Many new color maps
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