Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published January 1, 1993 | public
Book Section - Chapter

Transcontinental Proterozoic provinces


Research on the Precambrian basement of North America over the past two decades has shown that Archean and earliest Proterozoic evolution culminated in suturing of Archean cratonic elements and pre-1.80-Ga Proterozoic terranes to form the Canadian Shield at about 1.80 Ga (Hoffman, 1988,1989a, b). We will refer to this part of Laurentia as the Hudsonian craton (Fig. 1) because it was fused together about 1.80 to 1.85 Ga during the Trans-Hudson and Penokean orogenies (Hoffman, 1988). The Hudsonian craton, including its extensions into the United States (Chapters 2 and 3, this volume), formed the foreland against which 1.8- to 1.6-Ga continental growth occurred, forming the larger Laurentia (Hoffman, 1989a, b). Geologic and geochronologic studies over the past three decades have shown that most of the Precambrian in the United States south of the Hudsonian craton and west of the Grenville province (Chapter 5) consists of a broad northeast to east-northeast-trending zone of orogenic provinces that formed between 1.8 and 1.6 Ga. This zone, including extensions into eastern Canada, comprises or hosts most rock units of this age in North America as well as extensive suites of 1.35- to 1.50-Ga granite and rhyolite. This addition to the Hudsonian Craton is referred to in this chapter as the Transcontinental Proterozoic provinces (Fig. 1); the plural form is used to denote the composite nature of this broad region. The Transcontinental Proterozoic provinces consist of many distinct lithotectonic entities that can be defined on the basis of regional lithology, regional structure, U-Pb ages from zircons, Sr-Nd-Pb isotopic signatures, and regional geophysical anomalies.

Additional Information

© 1993 Geological Society of America. Manuscript accepted February 26, 1992. Acknowledgments: Introduction: The chapter editors wish to thank all section authors for their cooperation and patience throughout the assembly of this chapter. Paul K. Sims provided valuable review of a late draft of the entire chapter and John C. Reed, Jr., reviewed early drafts of several sections. We also acknowledge understanding responses from Pete Palmer, Geological Society of America, whose patience we have tried sorely. Mohave Province section: This research was supported by NSF grants EAR 86-18285 and EAR 89-04060 to JLA and a GSA grant to EEB. University of Southern California (USC) theses and dissertations by Steve Clarke, Janet Hammond, Valerie Krass, Susanne Orrell, James Podruski, and Edward Young contributed greatly to this project. Work by EEB is part of his dissertation research at USC; it builds upon his MS thesis done at Vanderbilt University under the direction of Calvin Miller. The Pacific-to-Arizona Crustal Experiment (PACE) supported the work of JLW. The authors also thank Keith Howard, Dave Miller, and other USGS colleagues for their many contributions to the research summarized here. Cindy Brown, Geoff Elliott, and Michele Hornburger provided excellent laboratory assistance in Menlo Park. Arizona section: Research was supported by NSF grants EAR 84-11998, 85-09354, 87-07746, and 89-16373 and by donors of the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society. Our studies have benefited especially from collaboration with M. L. Williams, C. M. Conway, and J. L. Wooden. Numerous graduate and undergraduate students at Northern Arizona University, Washington University, the University of Massachusetts, and elsewhere carried out specific detailed studies that have provided new geologic constraints on the Proterozoic rocks of Arizona. Colorado and southern Wyoming section: MEB acknowledges support from NSF grants EAR 80-25257 and 82-18463 and the work of several University of Kansas graduate students. The authors thank Fred Barker, J. M. O'Neill, and Zell E. Peterman for thoughtful reviews that led to significant improvements of their manuscript. New Mexico section: The authors wish to acknowledge the substantial technical, logistical, and financial support of the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources over the geologic epoch required to complete this chapter. The continuing patience and good will of Bureau Director Frank Kottlowski is especially appreciated. Western Midcontinent section: The authors acknowledge the assistance of many colleagues who have contributed samples, data, or discussion of ideas during the long period of our work on this region. In particular, we wish to recognize the contributions from curators or administrators of basement-sample repositories in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. We also wish to acknowledge the valuable contributions and support of a large number of industrial drillers who provided samples or allowed extra drilling to permit acquisition of samples from the basement. Ongoing financial support has come from the National Science Foundation, directly and through DOSECC, Inc., the general research fund of the University of Kansas, the Kansas Geological Survey, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Eastern Midcontinent section: We thank W. J. Hinze for informative discussions of basement geophysics and for help in preparing Figure 32. P. Maniar, V. M. Ceci, and F. Benaquista assisted EJL in compiling a database of wells to basement in computer format. MEB acknowledges NSF grants GA 11128 GA 35837, DES 72-01614, and EAR 76-03769 and additional support from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, the Department of Energy, the Kansas Geological Survey, and the University of Kansas. Particular thanks go to the Missouri Division of Natural Resources (Geological Survey) for support to MEB and a number of students for work in the St. Francois Mountains. MEB's understanding of the geology of the St. Francois Mountains was helped by discussions with E. B. Kisvarsanyi. Many University of Kansas graduate students, especially D. G. Mose, A. W. Berry, and J. R. Sides, contributed detailed thesis studies. Early Proterozoic evolution section: The authors wish to thank J. C. Reed, Jr., K. E. Karlstrom, and S. A. Bowring for comments on earlier versions of the manuscript and for discussion of contentious aspects of interpretation and representation of the Early Proterozoic evolution of southern Laurentia. We have also benefited from discussions with P. F. Hoffman, L. T. Silver, and many others during the last decade. The authors take sole responsibility for the interpretations presented here. Middle Proterozoic evolution section: The authors acknowledge financial support from the National Science Foundation, especially grants EAR 91-05636 (JLA), and GA 11128, GA 35837, DES 72-01614, and EAR 76-03769 (MEB). Additional support for MEB came from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, the Department of Energy, the Kansas Geological Survey, the Missouri Division of Natural Resources, and the University of Kansas. We have benefited greatly from discussions with colleagues, especially R. L. Cullers, W. R. Van Schmus, K. C. Condie, L. T. Silver, W. Hamilton, and P. F. Hoffman. Midcontinent rift section: This section includes data and interpretations obtained over the past several years with support from the Division of Earth Sciences of the NSF and funding provided through DOSECC, Inc. Recent operational grants include EAR 86-17315 and 88-16260. Oklahoma section: We thank P. K. Sims and J. C. Reed, Jr., for valuable suggestions that led to improvements of our section.

Additional details

August 20, 2023
January 14, 2024