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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

CSPG Special Publications


Sedimentary Basins and Basin-Forming Mechanisms — Memoir 12, 1987
Pages 87-99
Extensional Basins

Evolution of the Boston Basin: A Sedimentological Perspective

Anthony D. Socci, Geoffrey W. Smith


The Boston Basin originated in the Late Precambrian as a failed rift/successor basin, during the opening of the lapetus Ocean. Early sedimentation was characterized by a suite of bimodal volcanics and coarse debris flow deposits in the form of a fan. The geochemistry of the volcanics at the base of the succession suggests that the basin was connected to the open ocean very early in its history.

Subsequent rapid progradation of submarine slope and fan deposits occurred in the Late Precambrian/(?)Cambrian, including ice-derived diamictons and remobilized detritus, which show evidence of transport toward the north-northeast. During periods of more equable climate the slope became the site of sand and mud deposited by gravity and current. The last depositional event was characterized by the development of an overlap sequence in the (?)Late Precambrian/Cambrian. Global climate amelioration is attributed to a tectonically induced eustatic rise in sea level.

This stratigraphic history reflects the evolution of a passive margin during the opening of the lapetus, and eventual closing of the lapetus and comprehensive deformation of the Boston Basin from Ordovician to Carboniferous time. Sediment transport in the basin was largely longitudinal and toward the east-northeast.

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