Research: Appalachians



 
~Appalachian geology research~
 
 Dr. Chuck Bailey

The focus of Dr. Bailey’s research is on the geometry and tectonic history of deformed rocks as well as the physical and chemical processes that control rock deformation. He studies ductile fault zones (high-strain zones) and works to understand both the deformation path experienced by mylonitic rocks as well as elucidate the tectonic history recorded by these important crustal structures. Although the Appalachians Mountains have been studied for over two centuries, many key aspects of their history remain unanswered. Our studies in the Blue Ridge and Piedmont provinces are wide-ranging and integrate structural analysis with petrology, sedimentology, geochronology, and geologic mapping.

  • Bailey, C.M., and Owens, B.E. 2012. Traversing suspect terranes in the central Virginia Piedmont: from Proterozoic anorthosites to modern earthquakes, in Eppes, M.C. and Bartholomew, M.J., eds., From the Blue Ridge to the coastal plain: Field Excursions in the Southeastern United States. Geological Society of America Field Guide 29. p. 327-344.
  • Bailey, C.M., Peters, S.E.*, Morton, J.*, and Shotwell N.L.* 2007. The Mechum River formation, Virginia Blue Ridge: a record of Neoproterozoic and Paleozoic tectonics in southeastern Laurentia. American Journal of Science, v. 307, p. 1-22.
  • Bailey, C.M., Southworth, S., and Tollo, R.P. 2006. Tectonic History of the Blue Ridge, north-central Virginia: in Pazzaglia, F. J., ed, Excursions in Geology and History: Field Trips in the Middle Atlantic States. Geological Society of America Field Guide 8, p. 113-134.
  • Bailey, C. M., Francis, B. E., and Fahrney, E. E. 2004. Strain and vorticity analysis of transpressional high-strain zones from the Virginia Piedmont, USA in Flow Processes in Faults and Shear Zones. Geological Society of London Special Publication 224, p. 249-264.
  • Bailey, C.M., Giorgis S.*, and Coiner L.V.* 2002. Tectonic inversion and basement buttressing: an example from the central Appalachian, Blue Ridge province. Journal of Structural Geology, v. 24, p. 925-936.

 

 Dr. Clinton Barineau

Dr. Barineau’s research focuses primarily on the geologic history of the Appalachian Mountains, especially the southern Appalachians of Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina. Research includes: 1) understanding the role of accretionary orogenesis during the Taconic orogeny, southern Appalachians; 2) Refining the age, geochemical character and tectonic settings of metasedimentary and metaigneous rocks in the western Blue Ridge, eastern Blue Ridge and Piedmont terranes of Alabama and Georgia; 3) Strain analysis on metamorphic rocks of the Eastern and Western Blue Ridge, Alabama; 4) Analysis of paleorelief on the Gulf-coastal plain unconformity in the vicinity of Columbus, GA; 5) Geology of the Uchee belt, Alabama-Georgia.

  • Tull, James F., Holm-Denoma, Christopher S., and Barineau, Clinton I., 2014, Early to Middle Ordovician back-arc basin in the southern Appalachian Blue Ridge: Characteristics, extent, and tectonic significance. Geological Society of America Bulletin, doi:10.1130/B30967.1.
  • Barineau, Clinton I. and Tull, Jam es F., 2012, The Talladega and Ashland-Wedowee-Emuckfaw Belts of Alabama: Geological Overview. Alabama Geological Society 49th Annual Field Trip Guidebook, p. 1-11.
  • Tull, James F., Barineau, Clinton I., and Holm-Denoma, Christopher S., 2012, Characteristics, Extent, and Tectonic Significance of a Middle Ordovician Back-arc basin in the Southern Appalachian Blue Ridge. Alabama Geological Society 49th Annual Field Trip Guidebook, p. 12-26.
  • James F. Tull, Clinton I. Barineau, Paul A. Mueller, and Joseph L. Wooden. 2007. Volcanic arc emplacement onto the southernmost Appalachian Laurentian shelf: Characteristics and constraints. Geological Society of America Bulletin. Vol.119: 261-274.

 

 Dr. Kevin Stewart

Dr. Stewarts’ research is focused on the structure, tectonics, and geologic history of mountain belts. Most of his work is field based, supplemented by geochronology, thermobarometry, and sedimentology/stratigraphy. His work in the southern Appalachians is split between the metamorphic rocks of the Blue Ridge Province and the sedimentary rocks of the Valley and Ridge and Plateau. Research in the Blue Ridge includes structure and tectonics of the crystalline thrust sheets as well as work on eclogite and other high-pressure metamorphic rocks. A new project will address the problem of the anomalously high topographic relief in the southern Appalachian highlands and the possible linkage with linear, post-orogenic fracture zones. His work in the sedimentary rocks is focused on Mississippian-aged liquefaction features from earthquakes caused by the collision of Africa with North America about 330 million years ago. A work in progress is the construction of a model for the Paleozoic tectonic evolution of the southern Appalachians.

  • Miller, B. V., Fetter, A. H., & Stewart, K. G. (2006). Plutonism in three orogenic pulses, eastern Blue Ridge Province, southern Appalachians. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 118(1-2), 171-184.
  • Stewart, K. G., Adams, M. G., & Trupe, C. H. (1997). Paleozoic structural evolution of the Blue Ridge thrust complex, western North Carolina. Paleozoic Structure, Metamorphism, and Tectonics of the Blue Ridge of Western North Carolina, Field Trip Guide, 21-31.
  • Trupe, C. H., Stewart, K. G., Adams, M. G., Waters, C. L., Miller, B. V., & Hewitt, L. K. (2003). The Burnsville fault: Evidence for the timing and kinematics of southern Appalachian Acadian dextral transform tectonics.Geological Society of America Bulletin, 115(11), 1365-1376.
  • Trupe, C. H., Stewart, K. G., Adams, M. G., & Foudy, J. P. (2004). Deciphering the Grenville of the southern Appalachians through evaluation of the post-Grenville tectonic history in northwestern North Carolina. Geological Society of America Memoirs, 197, 679-695.

Dr. Merschat’s research is focused on (1) the structure and tectonics of the Appalachian orogen; (2) the provenance of the different crystalline terranes of the Blue Ridge and Piedmont; and (3) the thermochronologic evolution of the orogen. He integrates geologic mapping, structural analysis, SHRIMP U-Pb geochronology, petrology, and geochemistry into his research and is currently involved with bedrock geologic mapping projects in the Blue Ridge of Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

  • Merschat, A.J., Hatcher, R.D., Jr., Byars, H.E., and Gilliam, W.G., 2012, The Neoacadian orogenic core of the southern Appalachians: A geo-traverse through the migmatitic Inner Piedmont from the Brushy Mountains to Lincolnton, North Carolina, in Eppes, M.C., and Bartholomew, M.J., eds., From the Blue Ridge to the coastal plain: Field Excursions in the Southeastern United States: Geological Society of America Field Guide 29, p. 171–217.
  • Merschat, A.J., Hatcher, R.D., Jr., Bream, B.R., Miller, C.F., Byars, H.E., Gatewood, M.P., and Wooden, J.L., 2010, Detrital zircon geochronology and provenance of southern Appalachian Blue Ridge and Inner Piedmont crystalline terranes, in Tollo, R.P., Bartholomew, M.J., Hibbard, J.P., and Karabinos, P.M., eds., From Rodinia to Pangea: The Lithotectonic Record of the Appalachian Region: Geological Society of America Memoir 206, p. 661-699.
  • Merschat, A.J., and Hatcher, R.D., Jr., 2007, The Cat Square terrane: Possible Siluro-Devonian remnant ocean basin in the Inner Piedmont, southern Appalachians, USA, in Hatcher, R.D., Jr., Carlson, M.P., McBride, J.H., and Martínez Catalán, J.R., eds., 4-D Framework of Continental Crust: Geological Society of America Memoir 200, p. 553-566.
  • Hatcher, R.D., Jr., Bream, B.R., and Merschat, A.J., 2007, Tectonic map of the southern and central Appalachians: A tale of three orogens and a complete Wilson cycle, in Hatcher, R.D., Jr., Carlson, M.P., McBride, J.H., and Martínez Catalán, J.R., eds., 4-D Framework of Continental Crust: Geological Society of America Memoir 200, p. 595-632.

 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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