Virginia Geological Field Conference
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2008 Virginia Geological Field Conference

Geology of the Saltville and Pulaski Fault Blocks

October 10-11, 2008
Marion, Virginia

Shaded relief map of 2008 VGFC field trip area

Fred Webb and Loren Raymond, Appalachian State University

Bill Whitlock, Virginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources

The objective of this trip is to examine the contrasting geology of the regionally extensive Saltville and Pulaski thrust faults. The Saltville fault typically has a sharp fault plane with Cambrian-age rocks over Mississippian-age rocks, but locally the fault zone contains slices of Cambrian- to Devonian-age rocks. This contrasts with the Pulaski fault which has a mappable disturbed zone (mélange to dismembered formation), aerially up to ¼-mile wide, with Cambrian-age rocks faulted over Cambrian- or Ordovician-age rocks. Stratigraphically, correlative geologic formations have different lithologies and strikingly different thicknesses on the Saltville and Pulaski blocks, reflecting telescoping (by thrusting) of stratigraphies representing different depositional settings. Features important in interpretation of the geologic history, such as carbonate buildups, and unconformities provide additional points of interest for the conference.

The VGFC will be based at Hungry Mother State Park near Marion, Virginia. A pre-trip gathering will be held at the Hemlock Haven Conference Center in the park on Friday evening, October 10, with registration opening at 6:30 and the meeting commencing at 7:15 p.m. We will leave Hungry Mother State Park at 8:30 a.m. and return by 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. Transportation, lunch, and guidebook will be provided.

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Marion is served by Interstate 81 and there are numerous chain motels.

Camping is available at Hungry Mother State Park located 5 miles west of Marion(276-781-7400), http:


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