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The Appalachian peri-Gondwanan realm: a palaeogeographical perspective from the south

By
James P. Hibbard
James P. Hibbard
1
Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC27695, USA (e-mail: jim_hibbard@ncsu.edu)
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Brent V. Miller
Brent V. Miller
2
Department of Geology & Geophysics, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3115, USA
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Robert J. Tracy
Robert J. Tracy
3
Department of Geosciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
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Brad T. Carter
Brad T. Carter
1
Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC27695, USA (e-mail: jim_hibbard@ncsu.edu)
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Published:
January 01, 2005

Abstract

The Appalachian peri-Gondwanan realm (APGR) is an extensive tract of exotic Neoproterozoic-early Palaeozoic crustal blocks that occupies the eastern flank of the orogen. Traditionally, southern APGR elements have been correlated with those of the northern Appalachians on the basis of gross geological similarities. Most palaeogeographical reconstructions of the APGR are based on data from the northern Appalachians; consequently in these reconstructions, southern APGR elements are viewed commonly either as being affiliated spatially with those of the north or ignored. However, emerging data from two southern Appalachian crustal blocks give new insights into the palaeo- geography of the APGR. The Smith River allochthon may be a part of the APGR on the basis of recently obtained U-Pb monazite and staurolite ages that are apparently incompatible with a Laurentian origin. The allochthon and possibly adjacent terranes, appear to have followed a palaeogeographical track independent of other APGR elements. The Carolina zone is recognized as peri-Gondwanan in origin on the basis of its (i) gross geological evolution, (ii) fossil fauna and (iii) tectonic history. Mid-Palaeozoic regional kinematic patterns suggest that Carolina and its commonly held northern counterpart, the Avalon zone, travelled together on the same lithospheric plate, but their contrasting tectonic histories suggest that they formed along different margins of this plate. These interpretations lead to a new model for middle Palaeozoic interactions of the APGR with Laurentia.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Special Publications

Terrane Processes at the Margins of Gondwana

A. P. M. Vaughan
A. P. M. Vaughan
British Antarctic Survey, UK
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P. T. Leat
P. T. Leat
British Antarctic Survey, UK
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R. J. Pankhurst
R. J. Pankhurst
British Geological Survey, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
246
ISBN electronic:
9781862394940
Publication date:
January 01, 2005

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