Evolution of the Southern Appalachian Lithosphere

Conveners: Karen Fischer, Donna Shillington, Lara Wagner

Location: Brown University

Date of Workshop: March 27-29, 2017


The goal of this workshop is to better understand lithospheric evolution in the southern Appalachians and adjacent passive margin through synthesis of geophysical and geological observations and modeling.   We will focus on Phanerozoic processes spanning orogeny, rifting, and post-rifting evolution with an emphasis on how each stage of lithospheric evolution created structures and conditions that affected processes in the next.  New data and models from this region will be synthesized, drawing on the framework provided by classic field mapping, coring and seismic reflection studies.  Recent work includes: geophysical constraints on crust and mantle structure and seismicity from the EarthScope Transportable Array, targeted EarthScope seismic experiments (such as the active SUGAR and passive SESAME arrays), and the GeoPRISMS Eastern North American Margin community seismic experiment; petrological analyses that have shed new light on the origin and significance of magmatic activity; and thermochronology, geomorphology, and geodynamical modeling studies that have provided new insight on the erosional history and topographic rejuvenation of the Appalachians over varied time-scales (10’s of millions of years and within the last few million years).  The workshop will analyze key constraints and models that relate to each stage of lithospheric evolution, develop an integrated view of the current state of knowledge, and define data gaps and other targets for future research.  We will leave ample time for the formation of working groups that will carry forward the next generation of data collection and modeling studies.

Workshop Summary Report


Lara S. Wagner, Karen M. Fischer, Robert Hawman, Emily Hopper, Dorran Howell; The relative roles of inheritance and long-term passive margin lithospheric evolution on the modern structure and tectonic activity in the southeastern United StatesGeosphere, 2018  doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/GES01593.1