Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

North American Jurassic APW: The current dilemma



Geologists are in a quandary over the correct interpretation of paleomagnetic data for Jurassic rocks of the North American plate. Conflicting reference paleopoles and alternate methods of constructing apparent polar wander (APW) paths have led to a controversy regarding the configuration of Jurassic APW for cratonic North America. These differences have been recently disputed at meetings (see Eos, Spring Meeting Supplement, April 7, 1992, p. 94) and in an exchange of letters in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth [Butler et al., 1992; Van Fossen and Kent, 1992a]. At stake is important information concerning the Jurassic paleogeography of North America and the whole of Pangea, as well as the nature and driving mechanism of plate movements. In addition, cratonic paleopoles provide a reference frame for measuring relative displacements of tectonostratigraphic terranes.