Presentation Title

Timing of Displacement Along the Rattlesnake Thrust Fault, Pownal, VT

Time

3:00 PM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Engineering & Physical Sciences

Abstract

The Rattlesnake Thrust Fault, located in southwestern Vermont, has not been thoroughly studied. Geologic maps of Vermont indicate that the Rattlesnake Thrust Fault places Cambrian (~570 million years old) rocks on top of Ordovician (~470 million years old) rocks, similar to the Champlain Thrust Fault in northwestern Vermont. Therefore, the Rattlesnake Thrust has been inferred to have moved during a mountain building event, known as the Taconic orogeny, in the Ordovician period. While the rock formations emplaced by this fault do correspond in age to those along the Champlain Thrust, the Rattlesnake Thrust falls within a different structural province of Vermont related to a younger mountain building event, known as the Acadian Orogeny, which formed the Green Mountain Anticlinorium. The goal of this project is to utilize microstructural analysis of rock samples from the hanging wall of the Rattlesnake fault at two different outcrops, in conjunction with absolute age data determined by 40Ar/39Ar radiometric dating, to determine whether the fault was active during the Taconic Orogeny, Acadian Orogeny, or during both.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Laura Webb

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Arts and Sciences

Program/Major

Geology

Primary Research Category

Engineering & Physical Sciences

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Timing of Displacement Along the Rattlesnake Thrust Fault, Pownal, VT

The Rattlesnake Thrust Fault, located in southwestern Vermont, has not been thoroughly studied. Geologic maps of Vermont indicate that the Rattlesnake Thrust Fault places Cambrian (~570 million years old) rocks on top of Ordovician (~470 million years old) rocks, similar to the Champlain Thrust Fault in northwestern Vermont. Therefore, the Rattlesnake Thrust has been inferred to have moved during a mountain building event, known as the Taconic orogeny, in the Ordovician period. While the rock formations emplaced by this fault do correspond in age to those along the Champlain Thrust, the Rattlesnake Thrust falls within a different structural province of Vermont related to a younger mountain building event, known as the Acadian Orogeny, which formed the Green Mountain Anticlinorium. The goal of this project is to utilize microstructural analysis of rock samples from the hanging wall of the Rattlesnake fault at two different outcrops, in conjunction with absolute age data determined by 40Ar/39Ar radiometric dating, to determine whether the fault was active during the Taconic Orogeny, Acadian Orogeny, or during both.