Abstract

Geologic mapping, interpretation, and field checking of recent aeromagnetic data suggest the existence of a closely associated series of faults and splays extending from Alabama to Virginia, herein termed the Eastern Piedmont fault system. Characteristic magnetic anomalies were found to be associated with known faults and were used to trace them through covered intervals. The fault system extends northeastward from the Goat Rock fault of Alabama and west-central Georgia, crossing the lower Piedmont of South Carolina, passes beneath a segment of the Coastal Plains in the Carolinas, and then flanks the Raleigh belt in North Carolina and continues into Virginia. From east-central Georgia to Virginia, cataclastic rocks along the faults of the system are bounded to the northwest and southeast by rocks of the Carolina slate belt, forming perhaps the most extensive fault system in eastern North America. Its movement history is similar to that of the Brevard fault: an early ductile mylonitic phase, followed by periods of brittle deformation. We interpret the fault system to have been initiated during collapse of the late Precambrian–early Paleozoic Carolina slate belt island arc. The Paleozoic continental suture probably lies farther east, buried beneath the Coastal Plain.

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