The Goat Rock and associated Bartletts Ferry fault zones, which mark the eastern margin of the Pine Mountain Grenville basement massif, are controversial due to the suggestion that they are rare exposed segments of the late Paleozoic southern Appalachian master decollement. The controversy in part stems from reported middle Paleozoic (Acadian) radiometric dates postulated as the time of movement along these fault zones. Ultramylonite samples from the type area at Goat Rock Dam yield a 287 ±15 Ma Rb-Sr isochron interpreted as the time of Sr isotopic rehomogenization during mylonitization. This date is corroborated by Late Pennsylvanian-Early Permian 40Ar/39Ar mineral ages on hornblende (297-288 Ma) and muscovite (285-278 Ma) from neomineralized and dynamically recrystallized rocks within and straddling the fault zone. These Late Pennsylvanian-Early Permian dates indicate the time of right-slip movement (Alleghanian) along the Goat Rock fault zone, which is compatible with the timing suggested by COCORP for thrusting along the southern Appalachian master decollement.

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