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Chapter 13 – Mesozoic Events. Important events Breakup of Pangaea Begins ~200 million years ago Formation of rift valleys Oceans widen Gulf of Mexico formation Cretaceous epicontinental seas Accretionary tectonics add to continents. Three Periods.

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chapter 13 mesozoic events
Chapter 13 – Mesozoic Events

Important events

Breakup of Pangaea

Begins ~200 million years ago

Formation of rift valleys

Oceans widen

Gulf of Mexico formation

Cretaceous epicontinental seas

Accretionary tectonics add to continents

three periods
Three Periods

Triassic – first dinosaurs

Mesozoic – first birds

Cretaceous – first flowers & great extinction

breakup of pangaea
Breakup of Pangaea

Stage 1

Rifting and volcanism along normal faults

North America separates from Gondwana

Mexico separates from South America

Eastern border of N.A. separates from Moroccan bulge of Africa

breakup of pangaea stage 2
Breakup of Pangaea – Stage 2

Stage 2

Narrow ocean opening between Africa and Antarctica

An extension of this rift separates India from Africa

breakup of pangaea stage 3
Breakup of Pangaea – Stage 3

Stage 3

Atlantic Ocean begins to unzip from the south towards the north

Starts to rift Greenland from North America but shifts to separate Greenland from Baltica

breakup of pangaea stage 4
Breakup of Pangaea – Stage 4

Stage 4

North Atlantic rift separates Laurentia from Baltica

Occurred 45 million years ago

Complete breakup took 150 million years!

the mesozoic in eastern north america
The Mesozoic in Eastern North America

Appalachian Mountains are eroding and shedding massive amounts of sediment.

Begins to fill in non-marine continental rifts.

Much basaltic volcanism.

“Fall Line” – boundary between igenous and metamorphic rocks of Appalachian Mountains and more easily eroded sedimentary rocks. Location of many water wheels for textile and grain mills. Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, and Augusta.

gulf of mexico
Gulf of Mexico

Gulf of Mexico – one of world’s great depositional basins. >1000 m of rock salt (halite).

Salt Domes – low density causes them to rise producing folded and faulted petroleum traps. Salt, sulfur and other chemicals also produced.

cretaceous the chalk period
Cretaceous (The “Chalk” Period)

Cretaceous is a period of high sea level. Why?

Continental flooding.

The rock chalk is composed of calcite shells that formerly were occupied by golden-brown algae.

the mesozoic in western north america
The Mesozoic in Western North America

North America is overriding the Pacific Plate

Accretionary Tectonics – add to western N.A.

Exotic terranes – Alien, displaced landmasses added to continent. Area 51.

triassic
Triassic

Much western volcanism with stream deposits.

Chinle & Kayenta formations of Painted desert.

Petrified Forest of Triassic age.

Conifers

Uranium deposits of Mt. Taylor stream channels.

triassic21
Triassic

Much western volcanism with stream deposits.

Chinle & Kayenta formations of Painted desert.

Petrified Forest of Triassic age.

Conifers

Uranium deposits of Mt. Taylor stream channels.

jurassic
Jurassic

Navajo Sandstone (Late Triassic-Early Jurassic)

Cross-bedded sandstone – coastal dunes, windblown sand. Source of sand Alberta.

Sundance Sea (Formation)

Marine reptiles

Morrison Formation

Floodplain deposits contain 70 dinosaur species