About the book
During the last decades, the geology has undergone a great scientific revolution. Several disciplines have contributed to this revolution, including geophysics, oceanography, petrology, sedimentology and micropaleontology. Classical geological concepts have been examined producing a new theory, namely the plate tectonics, giving a scientific rationale on the complex dynamics of the earth's crust.
This book is intended to discuss several aspects, starting from the plate tectonics to the sedimentary basins. Main aspects of the plate tectonics include the continental drift, the palaeo-magnetism and the morphologic setting of the oceans. The continental drift is linked to the name of the German geophysicist Alfred Wegener, who suspected that the continents should move laterally, observing the correspondence between the shorelines of both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
He hypothesized that a great continent, namely the Pangea, broke up and was divided into great blocks, which after started to drift on the earth's surface. The isostatic adjustments of the earth's crust necessarily require vertical movements of the continental blocks in order to compensate the variations of loading on the earth's crust.The oceanic expansion has been supported by the polarity reversals, recognized for the first time in the lava flows by having directions of the palaeomagnetic field divergent of 180°. This allowed a chronological scale generation of the geomagnetic reversals, based on a uniform rate of expansion in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The topography of the oceans is characterized by three main physiographic provinces, including the oceanic ridge surrounding the oceanic basins, adjacent to the continental margins. The earth's crust is the part of the earth overlying the Moho discontinuity and may be divided in oceanic crust, transitional crust, and continental crust. This book intends to provide new insights concerning the geological implications of plate tectonics, including the sequence stratigraphy of passive continental margins, the sedimentological and palaeoceanographic aspects and the marine geology of the continental margins. New contributions on the continental margins (passive, active and transcurrent) are also acknowledged. Another main topic of this book is represented by the ophiolites, a sequence characterized by the vertical association of pillow lavas, radiolarites, and peridotites. The ophiolitic sequence is often overlain by sedimentary rocks (radiolarites, pelagic limestones) and may be associated with chromite bodies and rocky bodies, both intrusive and effusive. They represent allochtonous fragments of old oceanic crust. Also, contributions in terms of sedimentation and tectonics and their general concepts are also welcome. Finally, a basic topic of this book is represented by the sedimentary basins in different geodynamic settings, including the spreading related settings, the subduction related settings and the continental collision related settings.