Paper No. 4
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE ASHLAND-WEDOWEE AND DAHLONEGA GOLD BELTS, SOUTHERN APPALACHIANS: IMPLICATIONS FOR EARLY PALEOZOIC APPALACHIAN TECTONICS
The allochthonous Ashland-Wedowee belt of the Alabama and Georgia Piedmont region is considered by most workers to represent, at least in part, a rifted margin sequence which formed along the Iapetan margin of Laurentia during the Neoproterozoic breakup of Rodinia. The Ashland-Wedowee belt lies structurally above the Hollins Line thrust duplex and younger Allatoona fault in Alabama and Georgia, which separate it from metavolcanic rocks of the Middle Ordovician Hillabee Greenstone and Laurentian shelf rocks of the Cambrian to lowermost Mississippian(?) Talladega Group in the Talladega belt footwall. Along strike and northeast of the Ashland-Wedowee belt, the allochthonous Dahlonega Gold belt of Georgia and North Carolina consists predominantly of metasedimentary rocks as well as a number of Ordovician metavolcanic suprasubduction and mafic-ultramafic complexes. Like the Ashland-Wedowee belt, the Dahlonega Gold belt has been structurally emplaced atop rocks of the Talladega belt-Western Blue Ridge terrane along the Allatoona fault in Georgia. Although many workers have suggested that stratigraphy in the uppermost Ashland-Wedowee belt (Emuckfaw Fm.) can be correlated with units of the Dahlonega Gold belt (Canton-Univeter-Otto Fm.), other workers have suggested that the two belts lie in different structural panels. These differences in interpretation are not trivial, as a correlation of stratigraphy between the two belts has a significant bearing on the nature of Ordovician tectonism at the Laurentian margin. Preliminary mapping at the juncture between the two belts indicates that stratigraphic units are correlative, suggesting these two belts may be a single terrane which records both Laurentian breakout from the Rodinia supercontinent and subsequent development of an Ordovician suprasubduction volcanic complex on the Laurentian plate during Taconic orogenesis.