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Book Chapter

Geomorphology, active tectonics, and landscape evolution in the Mid-Atlantic region

By
Frank J. Pazzaglia
Frank J. Pazzaglia
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lehigh University, 1 West Packer Ave, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18015, USA
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Mark Carter
Mark Carter
U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Mail Stop 926A, Reston, Virginia 20192-0002, USA
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Claudio Berti
Claudio Berti
Lehigh University
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Ron Counts
Ron Counts
U.S. Geological Survey, Reston
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Greg Hancock
Greg Hancock
William and Mary
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David Harbor
David Harbor
Washington and Lee
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Richard Harrison
Richard Harrison
U.S. Geological Survey, Reston
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Matt Heller
Matt Heller
Virginia Department of Mines, Mineral, and Energy
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Shannon Mahan
Shannon Mahan
U.S. Geological Survey, Denver
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Helen Malenda
Helen Malenda
Colorado School of Mines
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Ryan McKeon
Ryan McKeon
Dartmouth College
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Michelle Nelson
Michelle Nelson
Utah State Univ.
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Phillip Prince
Phillip Prince
Virginia Tech
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Tammy Rittenour
Tammy Rittenour
Utah State
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James Spotila
James Spotila
Virginia Tech
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Rich Whittecar
Rich Whittecar
Old Dominion
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Published:
January 01, 2015

Abstract

In 2014, the geomorphology community marked the 125th birthday of one of its most influential papers, ‘The Rivers and Valleys of Pennsylvania’ by William Morris Davis. Inspired by Davis’s work, the Appalachian landscape rapidly became fertile ground for the development and testing of several grand landscape evolution paradigms, culminating with John Hack’s dynamic equilibrium in 1960. As part of the 2015 GSA Annual Meeting, the Geomorphology, Active Tectonics, and Landscape Evolution field trip offers an excellent venue for exploring Appalachian geomorphology through the lens of the Appalachian landscape, leveraging exciting research by a new generation of process-oriented geomorphologists and geologic field mapping. Important geomorphologic scholarship has recently used the Appalachian landscape as the testing ground for ideas on long- and short-term erosion, dynamic topography, glacial-isostatic adjustments, active tectonics in an intraplate setting, river incision, periglacial processes, and soil-saprolite formation.

This field trip explores a geologic and geomorphic transect of the mid-Atlantic margin, starting in the Blue Ridge of Virginia and proceeding to the east across the Piedmont to the Coastal Plain. The emphasis here will not only be on the geomorphology, but also the underlying geology that establishes the template and foundation upon which surface processes have etched out the familiar Appalachian landscape. The first day focuses on new and published work that highlights Cenozoic sedimentary deposits, soils, paleosols, and geomorphic markers (terraces and knickpoints) that are being used to reconstruct a late Cenozoic history of erosion, deposition, climate change, and active tectonics. The second day is similarly devoted to new and published work documenting the fluvial geomorphic response to active tectonics in the Central Virginia seismic zone (CVSZ), site of the 2011 M 5.8 Mineral earthquake and the integrated record of Appalachian erosion preserved on the Coastal Plain. The trip concludes on Day 3, joining the Kirk Bryan Field Trip at Great Falls, Virginia/Maryland, to explore and discuss the dramatic processes of base-level fall, fluvial incision, and knickpoint retreat.

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Contents

GSA Field Guide

Tripping from the Fall Line: Field Excursions for the GSA Annual Meeting, Baltimore, 2015

David K. Brezinski
David K. Brezinski
Maryland Geological Survey 2300 St. Paul Street Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA
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Jeffrey P. Halka
Jeffrey P. Halka
Maryland Geological Survey 2300 St. Paul Street Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA
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Richard A. Ortt, Jr.
Richard A. Ortt, Jr.
Maryland Geological Survey 2300 St. Paul Street Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
40
ISBN electronic:
9780813756400
Publication date:
January 01, 2015

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