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The Alleghanian Orogeny and Its Relationship to the Evolution of the Eastern Interior, North America
A mathematical, geodynamic model is used to simulate the relationship of the Alleghanian Orogeny to the Permo-Carboniferous evolution of sedimentary basins in the Eastern Interior of North America. Lithospheric flexure under loads obducted within the Appalachian and Ouachita orogens, coupled with the independent subsidence of the intracratonic Michigan and Illinois basins, explains the evolution of the arches and domes, and the isopach and lithofacies distributions of the region. Theoretical reconstruction of the basins to their form at the height of the Alleghanian Orogeny provides a new perspective on fission track cooling ages from the Appalachian foreland basin, coalification patterns, and, the thermal and burial history of the Nashville Dome. Predictions of the timing of maturation of petroleum source rocks are made on the basis of the model history and possible geothermal gradient distributions.
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