2004 Denver Annual Meeting (November 7–10, 2004)

Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 11:00 AM


WILLIAMS, Michael L.1, BURGER, H. Robert2, ONASCH, Charles M.3 and CALDANARO, Anthony J.2, (1)Department of Geosciences, Univ of Massachusetts, 611 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003-5820, (2)Department of Geology, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, (3)Bowling Green State Univ, Bowling Green, OH 43403-0218, mlw@geo.umass.edu

The 447 Ma Middlefield pluton occupies an important tectonic location at the contact between the Rowe and Moretown Formations in western New England and potentially can constrain the timing of Taconic accretion and help to distinguish between one-arc and two-arc tectonic models. The pluton also has a distinctive habit, consisting of numerous sub-vertical sheets interleaved with septa of Moretown schist. Thus, it also offers a special opportunity for evaluating pluton emplacement mechanisms and relationships between plutonism and deformation. In addition to its tectonic and structural/petrologic significance, the Glendale Falls locality is an appropriate locality for geophysical studies (to investigate pluton geometry), detailed grid mapping and sketching, evaluating small-scale relationships and many others.

We propose to establish a multi-college/university research site at Glendale Falls. The first step will be to construct a high-resolution, 3-D, georeferenced topographic base map. The base map (in GIS format) will be accessible on the web. Data and interpretation layers will be added to the GIS progressively during class research projects, thesis projects and ongoing faculty research. One goal is to construct a detailed geologic map of the locality using sketching grids (square grids placed on the outcrop to aid sketching and mapping) and georeferenced digital imagery. Different college and university classes could complete parts of the grid map and integrate their map with the growing composite. Additional research might involve geophysical analysis, microstructural and petrologic analysis, geochronology, and modeling. The growing database would also be accessible as a virtual research locality. It could be used as the basis for class projects or to prepare for a research visit to the locality. We hope that the accessible, multi-college/university character of the project will allow students to feel that they are contributing to a larger, tectonically and topically significant research effort. We also hope that this site will serve as a model or template for establishing similar research sites in other parts of the country.