Southeastern Section - 68th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 32-7
Presentation Time: 10:35 AM


BARINEAU, Clinton I., Earth and Space Sciences, Columbus State University, 4225 University Ave, Columbus, GA 31907-5645 and TULL, James F., Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Florida State University, 909 Antarctic Way, Room 108: Carraway Building, Tallahassee, FL 32306

Recent advances in our understanding of the southern Appalachian orogen have resulted in recognition of a paired Ordovician arc-backarc system in the eastern Blue Ridge (EBR) and western Inner Piedmont (WIP) of Alabama (AL) and Georgia (GA). The structural juxtaposition of these arc-backarc terranes provide valuable insight into the kinematics of the Brevard fault zone (BFZ) in AL and GA. Rocks of the AL-GA EBR composite terrane, northwest of the BFZ, lie within the Ashland-Wedowee-Emuckfaw belt (AWEB) in the hanging wall of the Hollins Line fault system, but also include rocks of the Tallulah Falls Formation in the hanging wall of the Chattahoochee fault (western Tugaloo terrane). Stratigraphy of the AWEB includes Ordovician back-arc rocks of the Wedowee-Emuckfaw-Dahlonega basin (WEDB). Southeast of the BFZ, rocks of the WIP include the arc-affinity Dadeville Complex (DC) and back-arc affinity Opelika Complex (OC). Rocks of the DC lie in a synformal klippe structurally above those of the OC, which include the Loachapoka and Auburn Formations. OC strata wrap around the hinge of the northeasterly-plunging Tallassee synform (i.e. beneath the DC klippe), and are interpreted as stratigraphic equivalents of WEDB rocks in the EBR. Interestingly, the BFZ, including the internal stratigraphy of the Jacksons Gap Group between the Abanda and Katy Creek faults, lies between the DC and EBR. Rocks of the extensive WEDB, therefore, lie partially in the EBR and partially in the WIP of AL and GA, but are structurally overlain by the similarly-aged DC arc terrane that originated outboard of the WEDB on the Ordovician seaward margin of the Laurentian plate. Emplacement of the DC directly above the WEDB along nearly the entire strike-length of both suggests a significant orthogonal (NW-SE) displacement component associated with Alleghanian thrust faulting along the BFZ in AL and GA. In contrast, structural analysis farther to the northeast (e.g. North Carolina) has led some workers to suggest predominantly strike-slip kinematics that displaced the WIP 100 km or more from northeast to southwest along the BFZ. Although the kinematics of the BFZ in AL and GA are complex, reconciling the significant strike-slip displacement interpreted for the BFZ in North Carolina with the absence of similar displacement in AL and GA is challenging.