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Age of the Appalachians Part 2: Ground Truth

April 7, 2014

Originally posted on Research & Collections:

This geologic map of the Appalachians, from Alabama to New York, gives an idea of the complexity of the mountain geology.

This geologic map of the Appalachians, from Alabama to New York, gives an idea of the complexity of the mountain geology.

One of the most common canards I hear about North Carolina geologic is, “The Appalachians are the oldest mountains in the world.” I hear the same about the Uwharries, which are not even in the contest. The age of the Appalachians is tied to the question of “When were they built?”  The answer is that there was no single time in which they were built or finished. The story of the Appalachians was built through observation of crosscutting relationships, then augmented with isotopic dates: See Part 1 of this blog series.    The map at the top of this article is from Jim Hibbard of NCSU and his co-authors  (2006, Lithotectonic map of Appalachian Orogen from the Geological Survey of Canada) which can be downloaded here

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