Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Laura E. Webb

Second Advisor

Don Ross


The Silurian-Devonian metasedimentary rocks of the Connecticut Valley-Gaspé trough (CVGT) were subjected to multiple deformational and metamorphic events during the Acadian orogeny in the Middle-Late Devonian. Plutons intruding the Devonian Waits River and Gile Mountain Formations have been considered post-tectonic, but microstructural studies of the intrusions and their metamorphic aureoles indicate some of these plutons intruded syntectonically. This study investigates the relationship between Acadian deformation and intrusion of the Knox Mountain pluton (KMP) of central Vermont. Structural and geochronological data were collected along a c. 15 km transect from the western limit of the CVGT, where the unconformable Richardson Memorial Contact coincides with the Dog River Fault Zone, into the margin of the KMP in the east. Field and microstructural observations indicate the KMP intruded syntectonically. Evidence for Acadian deformation post-dating intrusion includes folded and boudinaged granitic dikes at the margin of the KMP, and microstructures such as flame perthite, myrmekite, deformation twins, and textures associated with grain-boundary migration recrystallization in the granite. In the metamorphic aureole, biotite porphyroblasts overgrow S3, the earliest Acadian secondary foliation, and were deformed during S4 crenulation cleavage development. The KMP intruded at 377±5.2 Ma based on a U-Th-total Pb monazite crystallization age, which is concordant with the published age of the nearby Barre granite. The timing of S4 foliation development in the CVGT is constrained locally by 40Ar/39Ar geochronology at ~365 Ma, consistent with the microstructurally-inferred relative-age relationships. Plateau/weighted mean 40Ar/39Ar ages from across the transect and minimum ages from argon-loss profiles show a general trend of younging towards the east, suggesting these rocks have been affected by Alleghanian and Mesozoic deformation and exhumation.



Number of Pages

178 p.