Extensive field studies on the African and North American plates during this past decade have yielded a wealth of new data and ideas about rift basins and the origin of passive margins. New surface and subsurface basins have been identified; fossils abound in strata that only recently were considered barren; oil exploration is being actively pursued in continental strata of the Richmond-Taylorsville, Sanford and Newark basins, Late Triassic marine strata have been identified in Georges Bank off the coast of Massachusetts, and the roles of wrench tectonics, successor basins and listric normal faults have challenged the classical view that these are simple extensional basins. This two part work brings together representative examples of these studies. It is not intended as an exhaustive synthesis of the subject, but rather a vehicle to present new data, new ideas and alternative views. Some of the papers present regional summaries, others attempt to relate local features to regional questions, while others describe modern rift basins as possible analogs of early Mesozoic basins.
PART A. I. Pangaean plate in time and space. 1. Variscan-Alleghanian Orogen (N. Rast). 2. Triassic-Jurassic plate migrations and paleogeographic reconstructions in the Atlantic domain (R. van der Voo). II. Basins: North American and African plates. 3. Triassic-Jurassic rifting and opening of the Atlantic: An overview (W. Manspeizer). Offshore. 4. Evolution of rift basins on the continental margin off southern New England (D.R. Hutchinson, K.D. Klitgord). 5. Early Mesozoic rift basins and the development of the United States middle Atlantic continental margin (R.N. Benson, R.G. Doyle). 6. Extensional tectonics, structural styles and stratigraphy of the Mesozoic Grand Banks of Newfoundland (A.J. Tankard, H.J. Welsink). 7. Biostratigraphy of the COST G-2 well (Georges Bank): A record of Late Triassic synrift evaporite deposition; Liassic doming; and mid-Jurassic to Miocene postrift marine sedimentation (H.L. Cousminer, W.E. Steinkraus). Onshore. 8. Paleontology and paleoecology of the Newark Supergroup (Early Mesozoic, eastern North America) (P.E. Olsen). 9. Sedimentology of braided-river deposits in Upper Triassic Wolfville redbeds, southern shore of Cobequid Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada (J.F. Hubert, M.F. Forlenza).10. Massive mudstones in basin analysis and paleoclimate interpretation of the Newark Supergroup (J.P. Smoot, P.E. Olsen). 11. Mesozoic tectogenesis: Development and deformation of `Newark' rift zones in the Appalachians (with special emphasis on the Hartford Basin, Connecticut) (J. Zeilinga de Boer, A.E. Clifford). 12. A foreland-type fold and related structures in the Newark rift basin (M. Lucas et al). 13. Petrology of Mesozoic sandstones in the Newark basin, central New Jersey and adjacent New York (M.E. Oshchudlak, J.F. Hubert). 14. Structure and hydrocarbon potential of the Gettysburg basin, Pennsylvania and Maryland (S. Root). 15. Late Triassic and Early Jurassic lacustrine sedimentation in the Culpeper basin, Virginia (P.J.W. Gore). 16. A gravity and magnetic study of the Triassic Richmond basin, Virginia (K.L. Mickus et al). 17. Late Triassic depositional history of the Richmond and Taylorsville basins, eastern Virginia (R. Ressetar, G.K. Taylor). 18. A kinematic model for the evolution of Richmond Triassic basin, Virginia (R. Venkatakrishnan, R. Lutz). 19. Early Mesozoic faults of the northern Gulf Coastal Plain in the context of opening of the Atlantic Ocean (W.A. Thomas). 20. Triassic sedimentation and rifting in the High Atlas (Morocco) (J. Beauchamp). 21. A multiple releasing and restraining stepover model for the Jurassic strike-slip basin of the Central High Atlas (Morocco) (E. Laville). PART B. Evaporite basins. 22. Evaporite deposits of the North Atlantic rift (W.T. Holser et al). Igneous activity. 23. Chemical and physical constraints on petrogenesis and emplacement of ENA olivine diabase magma types (D. Whittington). 24. Eastern North American quartz tholeites: Geochemistry and petrology (J.H. Puffer, A.R. Philpotts).