Abstract

Geological and geochronological studies in the eastern Piedmont of the southern Appalachians have documented a polyphase late Paleozoic deformational chronology (D2–D4) that is contemporaneous with the Alleghanian orogeny recorded in the western Appalachian foreland. The scale and vergence of D3 anticlinoria in the eastern Piedmont are similar to those of anticlinoria in the western Appalachians which are related to ramping of underlying thrust surfaces. We suggest that the Appalachian décollement extends southeastward beneath the entire Piedmont Province and that all of the Piedmont rocks were displaced at least 175 km northwestward relative to North America during the Alleghanian orogeny. Late Paleozoic deformational effects in the eastern Piedmont thus are considered cogenetic with Alleghanian foreland deformation. We interpret the Alleghanian orogeny to be the result of oblique, dextral convergence and collision of Gondwana and Laurentia.

You do not currently have access to this article.