Highly deformed Cambrian through Devonian rocks are exposed in fensters in the Pulaski thrust sheet of the Virginia Valley and Ridge province. Detailed mapping of these exposures shows a consistency of structural style—namely, faulted, stacked antiforms with duplex geometry and folded roof thrusts. Strain intensity and the style of regional folds and faults suggest that the fensters are schurflingsfensters that expose rootless tectonic slices, or horses, possibly derived from a thrust ramp in the trailing part of the subjacent Saltville thrust sheet. Recent interpretations of the U.S. Geological Survey’s central Virginia seismic line place this ramp east of and below the crystalline rocks of the Blue Ridge structural front. Geometric modeling of rocks in the schurflingsfensters suggest the existence of possible Cambrian through Mississippian hydrocarbon-bearing rocks below the Pulaski, Max Meadows, and Blue Ridge thrust sheets. Rock samples from horses are presently being collected to determine thermal maturity and source rock potential. If these rocks were derived from the Saltville thrust sheet, sampling should prove important in evaluating hydrocarbon potential below eastern thrust sheets of the Appalachian Valley and Ridge, and Blue Ridge provinces.

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