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Welcome to the Appalachian landscape! Our field trip begins with a journey across Fall Zone (Fig. 1), named for the falls and rapids on streams flowing from the consolidated rocks of the Appalachians onto the unconsolidated sediments of the Coastal Plain. The eastern U.S. urban centers are aligned along the Fall Zone, the upstream limit of navigation. Typically, the rocks west of the Fall Zone are part of the Piedmont province. This province exposes the metamorphic core of the Appalachian Mountains exhumed by both tectonics and erosion. At least four major phases of deformation are preserved in Piedmont...

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