Southeastern Section - 65th Annual Meeting - 2016

Paper No. 16-3
Presentation Time: 2:15 PM


CHALLENER, S.C., Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, 713 Hunting Ridge Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615 and HIBBARD, James, Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, 2800 Faucette Drive, Rm. 1125 Jordan Hall, Raleigh, NC 27695,

The Reed Gold Mine, located in the Neoproterozoic-Cambrian volcanogenic Carolina terrane of NC, was the site of America’s first documented gold find in 1799. Despite its historic importance and location within the prominent Gold Hill shear zone, fundamental concepts such as its structural setting, timing of mineralization and relationship to regional rock units are unknown. The mine was never the subject of geologic study during production, and the most recent studies were conducted almost four decades ago. In the intervening time our understanding of the Carolina terrane has developed significantly. In particular, the Gold Hill shear zone was the subject of a 2012 study which established its geometry, constrained the age of deformation and linked its formation into the broader context of the Cherokee orogeny. As such, a reexamination of the geologic setting of the mine is timely.

This study seeks to establish the structural and regional context of the mine. Bedrock at the site has been mapped and structural data have been gathered, which offer a contrast to earlier reports from the area. Though the country rock gabbro around the gold-hosting quartz veins in the mine has traditionally been interpreted as a near-vertical dike, structural data suggest instead that it is a sill folded with the strata, and that the formation of auriferous quartz veins was kinematically related to folding. Magnetometric data will soon be collected to generate a more complete model of the subsurface geometry of the gabbro body. Geochemical and geochronological analyses are still in progress, and will be used to assess relationships between the gabbro and the regional arc-rift Stony Mountain gabbro suite, as well as potentially shedding light on the timing and mechanism of mineralization within the mine.

  • ChallenerPresentationGSA.pptx (14.4 MB)