Structural basin

Geologic provinces of the world (USGS)

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.

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

North America

Trinidad and Tobago

United States

Oceania

Australia

South America

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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