Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Southern and central Appalachian basement massifs

Robert D. Hatcher, Jr.
Robert D. Hatcher, Jr.
Search for other works by this author on:
January 01, 1984

Basement constitutes rocks which belong to a previous orogenic cycle which have been reactivated and incorporated into a younger cycle. Basement massifs may be classified according to their relative position in an orogen as external or internal massifs. They may also be categorized according to their role in deformation, as thrust-related, fold-related and composite massifs. All Appalachian external massifs were transported following removal from the overridden edge of the ancient North American continental margin. Most of the internal massifs are also probably transported, but several (Pine Mountain and Sauratown Mountains) may exist as windows exposing parauthochthonous basement beneath the main thrust sheet. The latter reside immediately west of the low (west) to high (east) gravity gradient which probably outlines the old edge of Grenvillian crust. Reactivated crustal material generated during early Paleozoic orogeny plays the same mechanical role in reactivation as basement from the previous Grenville cycle. Basement (Grenville) massifs are distributed throughout the western Blue Ridge from Georgia to Maryland. Additionally, internal massifs are also present (Pine Mountain belt, Tallulah Falls and Toxaway domes, Sauratown Mountains anticlinorium, State Farm Gneiss dome, Baltimore Gneiss domes, and Mine Ridge anticlinorium). Basement internal massifs probably served to localize thrusts by causing them to detach and ramp over and around the massifs. Their antiformal shape may in part be as much related to thrust mechanics as to folding.

You do not currently have access to this article.
Don't already have an account? Register

Figures & Tables


GSA Special Papers

The Grenville Event in the Appalachians and Related Topics

Mervin J. Bartholomew
Mervin J. Bartholomew
Search for other works by this author on:
Geological Society of America
ISBN print:
Publication date:
January 01, 1984



A comprehensive resource of eBooks for researchers in the Earth Sciences

This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

View Article Abstract & Purchase Options

For full access to this pdf, sign in to an existing account, or purchase an annual subscription.

Subscribe Now