Southeastern Section - 67th Annual Meeting - 2018

Paper No. 1-8
Presentation Time: 10:40 AM


BYERLY, Don, Earth & Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, 720 Clubhouse Way, Knoxville, TN 37909

A unique Middle Ordovician paleoenvironmental setting was responsible for deposition of limestone that has become worthy of recognition as a world class stone resource. The Holston Formation aka Tennessee “marble” has been quarried continuously in East Tennessee for lime and dimension stone since colonial times. The white to red, massive, coarse-grained limestone occurs as a conspicuous stratigraphic unit within the Middle Ordovician Chickamauga Group in the Valley and Ridge province of East Tennessee. The formation is a reef mass consisting mainly of bryozoan colonies, pelmatazoa, lime mudstone and cross-bedded calcarinite deposited along the hinge of a tectonically subsiding foredeep basin southeast of the reef. The mass is approximately 100 m thick and extends along northeast-southwest trending strike belts for nearly 100 km. Though not marble in the metamorphic sense, it is crystalline, takes a high polish, and possesses physical properties and a chemical purity that have made it a popular choice among architects, sculptors, and chemists for over 200 years. Tennessee “marble” has been used in sculptural work and for major building interiors and exteriors in at least 35 USA states and Canada and continues to be used today.