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Stratigraphy, structure, and tectonics: An east-to-west transect of the Blue Ridge and Valley and Ridge provinces of northern Virginia and West Virginia

By
Lynn S. Fichter
Lynn S. Fichter
Department of Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, 800 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807, USA
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Steven J. Whitmeyer
Steven J. Whitmeyer
Department of Geology and Environmental Science, James Madison University, 800 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807, USA
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Christopher M. Bailey
Christopher M. Bailey
Department of Geology, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
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William Burton
William Burton
U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia 22092, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

This field guide covers a two-day east-to-west transect of the Blue Ridge and Valley and Ridge provinces of northwestern Virginia and eastern West Virginia, in the context of an integrated approach to teaching stratigraphy, structural analysis, and regional tectonics. Holistic, systems-based approaches to these topics incorporate both deductive (stratigraphic, structural, and tectonic theoretical models) and inductive (field observations and data collection) perspectives. Discussions of these pedagogic approaches are integral to this field trip.

Day 1 of the field trip focuses on Mesoproterozoic granitoid basement (associated with the Grenville orogeny) and overlying Neoproterozoic to Early Cambrian cover rocks (Iapetan rifting) of the greater Blue Ridge province. These units collectively form a basement-cored anticlinorium that was thrust over Paleozoic strata of the Valley and Ridge province during Alleghanian contractional tectonics. Day 2 traverses a foreland thrust belt that consists of Cambrian to Ordovician carbonates (Iapetan divergent continental margin), Middle to Upper Ordovician immature clastics (associated with the Taconic orogeny), Silurian to Lower Devonian quartz arenites and carbonates (inter-orogenic tectonic calm), and Upper Devonian to Lower Mississippian clastic rocks (associated with the Acadian orogeny). Alleghanian structural features include the Little North Mountain thrust, Cacapon Mountain anticlinorium, Broad Top synclinorium, and Wills Mountain anticlinorium. Within the road log of this field guide we include both planned and optional stops, so that readers can explore the pedagogic concepts discussed herein in more detail, if desired.

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Contents

GSA Field Guide

The Mid-Atlantic Shore to the Appalachian Highlands

Gary M. Fleeger
Gary M. Fleeger
Pennsylvania Geological Survey 3240 Schoolhouse Road Middletown, Pennsylvania 17057-3534 USA
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Steven J. Whitmeyer
Steven J. Whitmeyer
Department of Geology and Environmental Science James Madison University 800 S. Main Street, MSC 6903 Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807 USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
16
ISBN electronic:
9780813756165
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

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