Deformation associated with Pulaski overthrusting in the Price Mountain and East Radford windows, Montgomery County, southwest Virginia

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Within the overthrust belt of southwest Virginia, windows in the Pulaski thrust sheet expose a variety of parautochthonous and allochthonous rocks, ranging in age from Cambrian to Mississippian.

The décollement of the Pulaski fault as exposed in the Price Mountain and East Radford windows is in places a thick, highly complex, deformation zone. In this zone, a suite of carbonate breccias, cataclastic quartzitic rocks and deformed shales occur. The rocks of the décollement comprise a thrust chaos and tectonic mélange. Mélange and chaos fabrics are typified by folding, faulting and cataclasis.

The East Radford window exposes a complexly folded and faulted antiform consisting of a telescoped, inverted stratigraphic section of Ordovician, Silurian and Devonian rocks. The antiformal structure is entirely allochthonous with minimum horizontal displacement of several kilometers.

Deformation of the parautochthonous Mississippian rocks below the Pulaski décollement in the Price Mountain window includes thrust and normal faults, folds of at least 3 orders and cataclasis.