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Precambrian basement structure map of the continental United States - An interpretation of geologic and aeromagnetic data

July 12, 2008

The Precambrian basement rocks of the continental United States are largely covered by younger sedimentary and volcanic rocks, and the availability of updated aeromagnetic data (NAMAG, 2002) provides a means to infer major regional basement structures and tie together the scattered, but locally abundant, geologic information.

Precambrian basement structures in the continental United States have strongly influenced later Proterozoic and Phanerozoic tectonism within the continent, and there is a growing awareness of the utility of these structures in deciphering major younger tectonic and related episodes. Interest in the role of basement structures in the evolution of continents has been recently stimulated, particularly by publications of the Geological Society of London (Holdsworth and others, 1998; Holdsworth and others, 2001). These publications, as well as others, stress the importance of reactivation of basement structures in guiding the subsequent evolution of continents. Knowledge of basement structures is an important key to understanding the geology of continental interiors.