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Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Michael Durcanin presentation: "Exhumation on the Passive Margin of Eastern North America: Results from Sonic Transit-Time and Vitrinite-Reflectance Analyses in the Newark Rift Basin"


Rutgers’ graduate, Michael Durcanin (BS, 2006; MS, 2009), received news that his presentation at the 2017 AAPG Conference was the runner-up for the George C. Matson Memorial Award. A panel of judges/experts reviewed over 1000 presentations before selecting Mike’s talk as one of the conference’s top talks.  In recognition of his accomplishment, Robbie Gries, GSA President-Elect, has invited Mike to present his work in the Geologic Energy Research Session at the upcoming 2018 GSA meeting in Indianapolis, IN.

The title of Mike’s presentation was, "Exhumation on the Passive Margin of Eastern North America: Results from Sonic Transit-Time and Vitrinite-Reflectance Analyses in the Newark Rift Basin," and his co-authors were MaryAnn Malinconico and Martha Withjack.  In the study, Mike used sonic transit-time analyses to estimate the magnitude of uplift and erosion in the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic Newark rift basin. Results of the sonic transit-time analyses show significant exhumation and erosion of synrift sedimentary rocks throughout the Newark basin. These exhumation and erosion estimates compare remarkably well with published estimates calculated from downhole vitrinite-reflectance data using the Dow (1977) method. The least exhumation (~1 to 2 km) occurred adjacent to the border-fault system in the northwestern part of the basin. The greatest exhumation (~4 to 6 km) occurred along the eastern hanging-wall side and throughout the southern half of the basin, exposing thick, over-mature, high-TOC, black shales of the Lockatong Formation. Exhumation and northwest tilting likely started slightly before or during the rift-drift transition during the Early Jurassic. It ended before the deposition of Cretaceous coastal-plain sediments on the eroded rift basin. The eroded material likely contributed to infilling of the adjacent, subsiding post-rift Baltimore Canyon trough, which contains up to 13 km of sedimentary rock, 9 km of which is Jurassic age.

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