Appalachian Orogen Field Trip
|Location||West Virginia and Virginia|
We departed September 14 for a four-and-one-half day trip through the Appalachian orogen in West Virginia and Virginia. We were somewhat concerned about the prospect of driving into Hurricane Floyd, which was then moving up the eastern seaboard, but in the end decided to "go for it." We spent the first day in the Seneca Rocks area. There we got an overview of the structure, stratigraphy and landforms of the Valley and Ridge Province, concentrating on rocks and structures exposed in a transect across the Wills Mountain anticline, and finishing with a hike to the top of Seneca Rocks.
On Friday we drove to the top of Spruce Knob, the highest point along the Allegheny Front in West Virginia. We then continued eastward through the Valley and Ridge, across the Great Valley of Virginia, and into the Precambrian rocks of the Blue Ridge Province where we looked at high-grade metamorphic rocks exposed along the Blue Ridge parkway in Shenandoah National Park.
On Saturday, we traveled into the core of the Blue Ridge Province to look at volcanic and sedimentary rocks that formed during the late Precambrian breakup of the supercontinent, and continued on to the Culpeper Basin to examine similar rocks that formed during the Mesozoic breakup of North America from Europe and Africa. Sunday, we traveled northwest to Harpers Ferry, the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, and proceeding generally west and north toward Granville, returned to Denison by evening.