Northeastern Section - 54th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 53-2
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


HILLENBRAND, Ian W., Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 627 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01003-9354 and WILLIAMS, Michael L., Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 611 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01003

The New England Appalachians are a classic example of Wilson-cycle tectonics. The region hasbeen used as a type section and model of plate tectonics for decades. The extensive literature of analytical data developed over more than 50 years is scattered across journal articles, geological survey reports, student theses, and personal collections impeding researchers’ access to data. The access issue poses a significant challenge, especially as new geochemical, geophysical, and geochronologic data have suggested re-assessments of terrane boundaries in the northern Appalachians. Using open-source GIS, we have compiled thousands of published geochronologic and geochemical analyses as a resource for geologists and a tool to analyze these geologic relationships. The database covers all New England states and correlative rocks in portions of Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and the Mid-Atlantic US. Potential applications of this database range from providing a mechanism for the science-interested public and educators to explore geologic data, serving as an entry level resource for geologists to understand the published research in their study area, and providing a powerful new tool for geospatial analysis of geologic data. Preliminary uses include the contouring of geochronologic data, tracking the progression of tectonism using crystallization, metamorphic, and cooling ages, and the spatial, chronological, and geochemical comparison of igneous rocks. With increasing geophysical studies in New England, the database provides a tool for integrating geologic data with new 3D constraints on crustal composition and geometry. Future plans involve exploring ways to integrate geologic map data into the database. Publishing this dataset using via an open-source GIS server is ongoing at the time of submission of this abstract.