Southeastern Section - 67th Annual Meeting - 2018

Paper No. 10-3
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


NICKERSON, Brandon T., Geography & Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28223 and REYNOLDS, Valerie S., Department of Geography & Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., McEniry 324, Charlotte, NC 28223

As the second largest university in NC, UNC Charlotte serves nearly 30,000 students, many of whom are local commuters who juggle their academic demands with work family commitments. Located just 10 miles from downtown Charlotte, UNCC’s urban setting presents challenges when searching for relevant field experiences for undergraduates proximal to campus. Fortunately, Reedy Creek Nature Preserve is located only a few miles from campus and consists of more than 700 acres through which 10 miles of hiking trails exist. Along these trails are various rock outcrops that are natural points of interest to visitors. However, this area has not been mapped in detail. The goal of this project is to map outcrops that occur along hiking trails within the nature preserve, conduct a detailed petrographic analysis of each sample, and identify the specific rock unit to which each outcrop belongs. Ultimately, the geologic story of the nature preserve can be used as an instructional tool for future students as well as park staff and visitors alike.

Located within the Charlotte Terrane, Reedy Creek Nature Preserve is adjacent to Devonian and Mississippian granodiorite, metadiorite, and quartzite. Fourteen samples have been collected along the South Fork, Umbrella Tree, Big Oak, Sierra Loop and Robinson Rockhouse trails within the Nature Preserve. Hand sample observations suggest the rocks are fine and coarse-grained diorite, metaquartz-diorite, granodiorite, granitoid, metamafite, metagabbro, and basalt. Detailed petrography will allow further classification into specific rock units.