Structural basin

A structural basin is a large-scale structural formation of rock strata formed by tectonic warping of previously flat-lying strata. They are geological depressions, the inverse of domes. Elongated structural basins are also known as synclines. Some are sedimentary basins, aggregations of sediment that filled up a depression or accumulated in an area. Others were formed by tectonic events long after the sedimentary layers were deposited.

Geologic provinces of the world (USGS)

Basins may appear on a geologic map as roughly circular or elliptical, with concentric layers. Because the strata dip toward the center, the exposed strata in a basin are progressively younger from the outside in, with the youngest rocks in the center. Basins are often large in areal extent, often hundreds of kilometers across.

Structural basins are often important sources of coal, petroleum, and groundwater.

Examples

Europe

Trinidad and Tobago

United States

Australia

South America

  • Chaco Basin, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay
  • Magallanes Basin, Chile
  • Neuquén Basin, Argentina and Chile
  • Paraná Basin, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay
  • Llanos Basin, Colombia

See also

References

  • Monroe, James S., and Reed Wicander. The Changing Earth: Exploring Geology and Evolution. 2nd ed. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1997. ISBN 0-314-09577-2
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