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The central Virginia Piedmont is underlain by complex igneous and metamorphic rocks, including: Paleozoic, Neoproterozoic, and Mesoproterozoic rocks of the suspect Goochland terrane; Early Paleozoic rocks of the suspect Chopawamsic arc terrane; Mid-Paleozoic successor basin deposits; and a suite of Taconic and Alleghanian plutons. Terranes are juxtaposed along a network of Late Paleozoic dextrally transpressive high-strain zones. The origin and significance of both the Goochland and Chopawamsic terranes remain a source of debate. The central Virginia Piedmont includes a distinct suite of commercial-grade mineral deposits including rutile-rich anorthosite, pegmatite, kyanite, and slate. The widely felt 2011 Virginia earthquake (M = 5.8) occurred along an unrecognized fault in the central Virginia seismic zone and demonstrates that old Appalachian structures are still active in eastern North America's modern stress field.

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