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Abstract

This trip seeks to illustrate the succession of Cambrian and Ordovician facies deposited within the Pennsylvania and Maryland portion of the Great American Carbonate Bank. From the Early Cambrian (Dyeran) through Late Ordovician (Turinan), the Laurentian paleocontinent was rimmed by an extensive carbonate platform. During this protracted period of time, a succession of carbonate rock, more than two miles thick, was deposited in Maryland and Pennsylvania. These strata are now exposed in the Nittany arch of central Pennsylvania; the Great Valley of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia; and the Conestoga and Frederick Valleys of eastern Pennsylvania and Maryland. This field trip will visit key outcrops that illustrate the varied depositional styles and environmental settings that prevailed at different times within the Pennsylvania reentrant portion of the Great American Carbonate Bank. In particular, we will contrast the timing and pattern of sedimentation in off-shelf (Frederick Valley), outer-shelf (Great Valley), and inner-shelf (Nittany arch) deposits. The deposition was controlled primarily by eustasy through the Cambrian and Early Ordovician (within the Sauk megasequence), but was strongly influenced later by the onset of Taconic orogenesis during deposition of the Tippecanoe megasequence.

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