Abstract

The Cumberland Plateau overthrust, a continuous series of thrust and cross faults, extends southwest across the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee from its junction with the Valley and Ridge thrusts near the north end of the Sequatchie Valley anticline. The strata involved vary in competency and hence control the structural pattern.

The faults mapped bound a low-angle thrust sheet. Associated anticlines are probably due to faulting at depth, as shown by the Big Peavine Mountain anticline which results from 3 miles of thrusting. The thrust forming this anticline outcrops 5 miles to the west as the Cumberland Plateau overthrust; it extends eastward, arches over the Sequatchie Valley anticline, and has its roots in the Valley and Ridge province.

The Cumberland Plateau overthrust is mechanically and regionally similar to the Pine Mountain overthrust to the north. It extends at least 50 miles southwest of its junction with the Valley and Ridge province, and perhaps as far south as Birmingham, Alabama (200 mi.). These relationships support the controversial sole-fault hypothesis of Southern Appalachian Valley and Ridge structure.

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