Analysis of Lower to Middle Ordovician carbonate successions and the conodonts they contain from Tennessee to New York show that (1) in the northern Great Valley, strike-parallel disconformable contacts occur between Lower and Middle Ordovician and within Middle Ordovician carbonate units, (2) apparent maximum extent of unconformities along tectonic promontories, and (3) relatively rapid subsidence and transgression at promontories. Diachronous early Paleozoic collisional events at an irregular continental margin might explain these observations. Initial Taconic collisions may have occurred at the Virginia promontory resulting in uplift and erosion of the Knox/Beekmantown shelf in Whiterockian time followed by rapid subsidence and...

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