EAS X420: Appalachian Geological Journey

11129 — Spring 2022

Juergen Schieber
GY 2049
Days and Times
T 1:15-2:30 pm
Course Description

This course is a JOURNEY THROUGH EARTH HISTORY.  We will explore the geologic history of the eastern US from the Precambrian gneisses (as much as 1.8 billion years old) of the Blue Ridge Mts. to the Pennsylvanian coal fields of Kentucky (~300 million years old).  It will be a 1000 mile road trip, starting in Bloomington and with multiple stops along the way to examine outcrops of mostly sedimentary rocks that range in age from Cambrian (~570 million years old) to Pennsylvanian (~300 million years old) in age.  The outcrops will be examined by the class for clues to past conditions, such as environmental parameters (e.g. water depth, climate, depositional setting, etc.), and the goal is to “read” the pages of Earth history and to get a comprehensive understanding of the forces that shaped this part of the world through the ages.  On the side we will also begin to appreciate how local geology and geologic resources influenced local agriculture, economic development, and general prosperity. 

The course will meet once a week in the second half of the semester for preparations and background information, and the actual field trip will be a one week roundtrip to North Carolina following the end of the semester.