Abstract: The Effects of Paleolatitude and Paleogeography on Sedimentation in the Late Paleozoic
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Facies distribution in Paleozoic basins around the world show that paleolatitude and paleogeography influenced sedimentation. Placing regional facies maps in their Paleozoic latitudes and plate orientations can assist in explaining and predicting basin sedimentation patterns. Paleogeographic reconstructions indicate that during the Paleozoic the Appalachian Basin was near the equator. The response of sedimentation would have been similar to that presently observed in the low latitudes. Sedimentation responded to these ancient trade winds in a similar fashion as observed in the modern tropics near the equator.
TERRAMOBLIS and Surface III software were used to build plate reconstructions and paleogeographic maps. They indicate North America was rotated approximately 43Þ northeast from its current orientation during the Late Paleozoic. From the Pennsylvanian through the Permian the plate migrated northward. The past orientations of shelf edges should be determined and combined with prevailing wind directions to better understand the influence of paleogeography on sedimentation. It is not only important to understand the prevailing winds and paleolatitude but one must understand where on the shelf edge windward sedimentation could have occurred. Understanding basin orientation, paleogeography, paleolatitude and prevailing winds can aid in the prediction of regional and local facies.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90930©1998 AAPG Eastern Section, Columbus, Ohio