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Lost Worlds in Alabama Rocks: A New Perspective on the State's Geologic History. (Abstracts).

LOST WORLDS IN ALABAMA ROCKS: A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON THE STATE'S GEOLOGIC HISTORY. Jim Lacefield, University of North Alabama and CEO of PaleoAlabama.

Alabama's present landscape and biological communities are the products of a long and dynamic past that has recently become more understandable through new interpretations of the state's geologic record. The state's rocks constitute one of the most complete and informative geologic records of any part of North America. A robust body of geologic data accumulated through more than a century of mapping and correlation of Alabamas surface rocks combined with new information compiled from deep drilling for petroleum and natural gas during the past several decades has produced a 3-dimensional picture of the state's geology that provides insight into how the land has evolved through the last 500 million years. Alabama rocks contain sedimentary and structural clues that reflect the significant tectonic events that have shaped the southern margin of North America, including the removal by rifling of the Argentine Precordillera during Cambrian times, the thrusting, faulting, and sedimentation accompanying the assembly of Pangaea along the Suwannee-Wiggins Suture zone during the late Paleozoic Era, amid the rifting dynamics that created the Gulf of Mexico during the breakup of Pangaea in the early part of the Mesozoic Era. In addition. a significant body of paleontological evidence gives clues to how the state's biota has evolved in conjunction with contemporaneous changes in landscape mode, climate, amid local environment through the last half-billion years of time. An awareness of this rich history contained in the geologic record can provide a useful context for understanding the land of Alabama and its living systems even in the present day.
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Publication:Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science
Article Type:Author Abstract
Geographic Code:1U6AL
Date:Apr 1, 2002
Words:277
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