Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Laura E. Webb


The Prospect Rock Fault (PRF) is key to our understanding of the regional tectonic evolution of Vermont during the Taconic, Salinic, and Acadian Orogenies, and may have played an important role in the exhumation of blueschist and eclogite-facies rocks in the Tillotson Peak Complex (TPC) during the Taconic Orogeny. The TPC is in the footwall of the PRF in the eastern limb of the Green Mountain Anticlinorium. In the TPC, the dominant foliation is S2 and E-W trending F2 folds parallel L2 stretching lineations, which trend orthogonal to regional N-S trending folds associated with the Taconic Orogeny. The PRF itself is folded by F2 folds. Presently, there is a lack of consensus about the role of the PRF in the exhumation of the TPC, and studies have not reconciled the formation of the E-W folds and lineations to a regional model.

Oriented samples and structural data were collected from the footwall of the PRF over several transects. Samples were processed into orthogonal thin sections for microstructural analyses and for 40Ar/39Ar step heating of white mica. The dominant foliations in the PRF samples were identified through microstructural analysis and correlating the age of deformation as S2 and S3. These were defined in thin section by mica and quartz microlithons, and oriented mica grains. S1, and in some samples S2, are locally preserved in some mica domains and albite/garnet inclusion trails. S4 appears as crenulations of S3, with no significant new mineral crystallization. In the field, L2 and L3 lineations are defined by mineral and quartz rods, and L4 lineations are defined as intersection lineations on S2 surfaces.

40Ar/39Ar analyses yielded plateau ages ranging from 458.6 ± 2.0 Ma to 419.0 ± 2.4 Ma (1σ). The oldest plateau ages are just slightly younger, yet concordant, with published and new 40Ar/39Ar ages from the TPC and come from the structurally highest portions of the footwall in the northern part of the study area. Virtually all apparent age spectra show age gradients. Results from this study suggest the PRF played a role in exhumation of the TPC and ages obtained are closely aligned with deformation ages constrained from 40Ar/39Ar dating in southern Quebec for the Taconic D2 and Salinian D3 deformation. These dates may aid correlatation of ages and structures regionally and further refining of tectonostratigraphic models describing southern Quebec and New England.



Number of Pages

146 p.

Included in

Geology Commons