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Transtensional and Transpressive Basins
Late Paleozoic Sedimentation and Basin Development Adjacent to the Cobequid Highlands Massif, Eastern Canada
The northern part of the Minas Sub-basin and the Cumberland Basin of northern Nova Scotia and southeastern New Brunswick are adjacent to the Cobequid Highlands Massif. The Minas Sub-basin occupies an area south of the Cobequid Highlands Massif, partly within the suture zone between the Avalon Composite Terrane and the Meguma Terrane. Movement on the suture zone resulted in the deposition of a thick (5 km) succession of Middle Devonian to Lower Permian strata, primarily of continental origin. The Cumberland Basin is a large, Carboniferous structural basin that contains over 7 km of dominantly continental clastic strata and one major evaporitic marine succession. There are three allocycles within the Middle Devonian to Lower Permian strata of the Cumberland Basin and the northern part of the Minas Sub-basin. These are: the Mid-Devonian to Namurian, the Namurian to Westphalian A, and the Westphalian B to Early Permian. Within the northern part of the Minas Sub-basin, the Fundy Rift brought about the deposition of Triassic-Jurassic strata that record another allocycle.
Each of the megasequences reflects a decelerating subsidence rate. An initial period of uplift of the highlands and rapid subsidence of the adjacent basin resulted in the deposition of coarse fanglomerates locally at the basin margins. These coarse marginal deposits are succeeded by a transition to fluvial, lacustrine and, in one case, marine basin fill of widespread extent. These fill deposits may overstep the older basin fill units and the basement rocks. The distribution of marginal alluvial fan deposits indicate that the Cobequid Highlands Massif was a fault-bounded wedge that was oriented differently through time in response to strike-slip movements along the faults.
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