RAPID PROGRESSION FROM INTRACONTINENTAL VOLCANISM TO GLACIATION: EVIDENCE FROM NEOPROTEROZOIC STRATA IN THE BLUE RIDGE OF SW VA
Surprisingly few recent studies have recognized the potential importance of the Neoproterozoic glacial deposits of eastern North America. In particular, the Konnarock Formation in southwest Virginia may have been deposited in response to global glacial events. The age of the Konnarock Formation is uncertain, only bracketed between the youngest rhyolites of the underlying Mount Rogers Formation at ~750 Ma, and overlying sandstones of the latest Neoproterozoic – earliest Cambrian Unicoi Formation. Recently we have focused on exploring the nature of the contact with the underlying volcanic rocks. Observations that suggest the KF conformably overlies the MRF are: 1) lack of fault fabrics along the contact between the KF and MRF, although this contact had been previously mapped as a fault throughout much of the region; 2) a local source of MRF volcanic lithic clasts in conglomerates in the KF; and 3) mafic dikes that cut both the KF and MRF. A conformable contact between the KF and MRF contact suggests that glaciation closely followed volcanism and intracontinental rifting in this region.