RELATIONSHIPS PERTAINING TO STRATIGRAPHIC ASSIGNMENTS OF APPALACHIAN WESTERN BLUE RIDGE STRATIGRAPHY UNDER CURRENT REEVALUATION, GEORGIA AND TENNESSEE
Recent paleontological discoveries indicate that an overlying fault-bounded part (formerly designated as WCG) lying structurally beneath the Epperson synclinorium (ES) is as young as Siluro-Devonian. Along the W and E flanks of the Ducktown anticline (ES and Murphy synclinorium [MS] respectively), the GSG is stratigraphically overlain by the Lower Є Nantahala-Brasstown Fms (NBF) (outboard CG equivalents). The NBF in the MS is stratigraphically overlain by the Murphy Marble, which is in turn unconformably overlain by the post Є Mineral Bluff Gp. In the ES, the NBF is overlain by rocks conventionally assigned to the WCG, which have no overlying stratigraphic constraints. N of Ocoee Gorge the NBF pinches out and this “WCG” lies above the GSG. The stratigraphic base of the “WCG” in this area has been interpreted as either conformable or unconformable. Along the Hiwassee River, the lower WCG contact is marked by basal conglomerates similar to those found in the southern ES where the “WCG” is stratigraphically above the NBF.
Previous work has assigned the WCG to seemingly different stratigraphic levels with respect to the CG. The WCG in the ES is stratigraphically above the CG, but currently assigned below. Paleontologic discoveries reassign rocks in the adjacent NW thrust sheet to the post Є Maggies Mill fm (MMF) from their traditional interpretation as part of the upper WCG (Sandsuck fm). Parallels between rocks interpreted as WCG in the ES and those in the MMF include strikingly similar lithologies and metamorphic grade. Mapping and a petrographic study intend to confirm the NBF assignment within the ES via comparisons with the NBF in the MS. Carbonates are being targeted for similar paleontological materials.