Amerika und Eurafrika: the origin of the Atlantic-Arctic Ocean

Geol Rundsch 30:138–147
  • A. L. Toit


The Atlantic-Arctic Basin is antipodal to the Pacific. Powerful evidence is cited to indicate its development through continental drift, as suggested by Pickering in 1907. Initiated from the Mesozoic Tethys and progressively enlarged during the Tertiary, its outlines were essentially determined by tensional-rifting oriented mainly NE and NW within a zone extending more than half round the circumference of the Earth, from the Antarctic to Alaska. During the Alpine diastrophism fold linkages, which functioned as land bridges, were pushed up across the ocean between the West Indies and Eurafrica and subsequently destroyed by the continued westerly drift of the Americas. Crustal stretching was accompanied by widespread volcanicity. The Mid-Atlantic Rise is recent and has an isostatic basis. The Atlantic-Arctic stretch-basin is largely bordered by fault-line coasts and by down-warped shores that show the marginal, entrenched, terrestrially-evolved drainage areas known as submarine canyons.


British Isle Land Bridge Falkland Island Continental Drift Submarine Canyon 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

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  • A. L. Toit

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