Deformation of soft sediments and evaporites in a tectonically active basin: Bay St. George sub-basin, Newfoundland, Canada


  • Morgan E. Snyder Department of Earth and Environmental Science, Acadia University, Wolfville, Nova Scotia B4P 2R6, Canada
  • John W. F. Waldron Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E3, Canada



The Bay St. George sub-basin of SW Newfoundland, part of the larger late Paleozoic Maritimes basin, formed under the influence of strike-slip faulting and the movement of evaporites. New stratigraphic correlations between Newfoundland and other late Paleozoic sub-basins illustrate the effects of both basement and salt movement. Coastal outcrops show complex combinations of synsedimentary, salt-related, and tectonic structures. Map relationships and dramatic thickness contrasts in the Tournaisian Anguille Group indicate that a large, concealed, NE–striking normal growth fault (Ship Cove fault) controlled sedimentation; the exposed Snakes Bight fault originated as a hanging-wall splay. Structures formed during, or soon after deposition include soft-sediment folds, boudins, clastic dykes, and millimetre-scale diapiric bulb structures, formed by overpressuring and liquidization of sediment. These suggest that the sub-basin was tectonically active throughout deposition. Evaporite-related deformation is recorded in the Visean Codroy Group and overlying strata. Comparisons between outcrop and subsurface suggests that significant amounts of evaporite were removed from exposed sections by halokinesis and solution. Complex outcrop relationships indicate salt welds, and suggest that units of the upper Codroy and overlying Barachois groups represent fills of minibasins that subsided into thick evaporites. Field relationships suggest tectonic inversion deposition related to E-W dextral strike slip motion that affected the entire Maritimes basin in the Serpukhovian, producing reverse-sense offsets and contractional folds. Many of the structures in the Bay St. George sub-basin, previously interpreted as post-depositional and purely tectonic, were formed by deformation of unlithified sediment and ductile evaporites during basin development.



How to Cite

Snyder, M. E., & Waldron, J. W. F. (2021). Deformation of soft sediments and evaporites in a tectonically active basin: Bay St. George sub-basin, Newfoundland, Canada. Atlantic Geoscience, 57(1), 275–304.