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Tectonic controls of late Cretaceous sedimentation, western interior, USA

Naturevolume 274pages653657 (1978) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Anomalous subsidence of continental crust occurred during the Late Cretaceous in a region centred about Colorado, southern Wyoming and eastern Utah. The amount of subsidence is greater than can be explained by eustatic sea level rise and supracrustal loading by water and sediment. Analysis of thickness and distribution of Upper Cretaceous strata of the Western Interior Seaway, USA, shows two distinct basinal trends. The subsidence of the earliest (100–80 Myr BP) is attributed partly to isostatic flexure in front of the rising orogenic welt. The subsidence of the later (80-70 Myr BP) is attributed to subcrustal loading induced by a shallowly subducted plate.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Geology, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, 58202

    • Timothy A. Cross
  2. Department of Geology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70803

    • Rex H. Pilger Jr

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https://doi.org/10.1038/274653a0

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