Abstract

Archaeocyathids indicate an Early Cambrian age for chert exposures in one of the isolated ridge complexes of the Coosa deformed belt in the eastern Valley and Ridge province of the Appalachians known as the “Sleeping Giants” near the city of Talladega, Alabama. The Sleeping Giants complex contains imbricated chert, fine-grained sandstone, and coarse-grained quartzite in addition to siltstone, which rest with subhorizontal contact on folded and faulted strata of Middle and Upper Cambrian age. The affinity and structural nature of the strata composing these features have been variously assigned to Lower Cambrian units and fault emplacement and to middle Paleozoic sequences lying unconformably on lower Paleozoic formations. The archaeocyathids and mapping evidence indicate that the Sleeping Giants and other associated ranges are klippen of Lower Cambrian rocks rooted at the northwestern edge of, or within, the Talladega metamorphic belt a few miles to the southeast.

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