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Book Chapter

Refining the metamorphic and tectonic history of the southeastern Pennsylvania Piedmont: Recent results from monazite and zircon geochronology and accessory-phase thermometry

By
Joseph M. Pyle
Joseph M. Pyle
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York 12180, USA
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Howell Bosbyshell
Howell Bosbyshell
Department of Geology and Astronomy, West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania 19383, USA
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Gale C. Blackmer
Gale C. Blackmer
Pennsylvania Geological Survey, Middletown, Pennsylvania 17057, USA
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Published:
October 06, 2006

Abstract

This field trip examines two distinct lithotectonic groups of the Pennsylvania Piedmont, separated by the Martic Line, each consisting of massifs of Mesoproterozoic gneiss overlain unconformably by Paleozoic metasediments. To the north of the Martic Line, the Mesoproterozoic gneisses are lithologically similar to rocks of the Adirondack anorthosite-mangerite-charnockite-granite (AMCG) association, and also include amphibolite-facies gneisses of felsic to mafic bulk composition. The overlying Paleozoic quartzite and carbonate ± semipelite succession records only greenschist-facies metamorphism, with on-going debate as to the extent of Taconian, Acadian, and Alleghanian contribution to the low-grade metamorphism and pervasive deformation. South of the Martic Line, AMCG lithologies are absent from the Mesoproterozoic gneisses. Paleozoic rocks of the Wissahickon Formation record low-pressure, high-temperature (0.3–0.4 GPa, 600–700 °C; andalusite-sillimanite) Silurian metamorphism, and Devonian moderate-pressure, moderate-temperature (0.6–0.8 GPa, 500–600 °C; kyanitesillimanite) metamorphism. Additionally, the Wissahickon Formation east of the Rosemont Shear Zone records Ordovician magmatic activity and limited contact metamorphism associated with emplacement of the Wilmington Complex. The Wissahickon Formation (sensu lato) is informally subdivided into three units: Glenarm Wissahickon (overlying Baltimore Gneiss and Glenarm Group, between the Embreeville and Street Road Faults), Mount Cuba Wissahickon (south and east of the Street Road fault, including a strip immediately east of the Wilmington Complex), and Wissahickon Formation (sensu stricto) (east of the Wilmington Complex). Day 1 treats the rocks north of the Martic Line. Day 2 addresses rocks south of the Martic Line, and within and around the Wilmington Complex.

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