Document Type



In the Dominion soapstone quarry in eastern Blue Ridge, multiple well-exposed faults and veins cross cut soapstone body and provide a rare opportunity for investigation of both brittle deformation and metamorphism. The soapstone and other ultramafic rocks in the quarry are sheet intrusions into the Charlottesville Formation of the Lynchburg Group, a late Proterozoic metasedimentary unit. Previous studies indicate that most ultramafic rocks first formed during the Taconic orogeny and were metamorphosed between the Acadian and the Alleghanian orogeny. This study aims to investigate the conditions of metamorphism, compositions of hydrothermal fluid, and kinematics of the fracture zones in the Dominion quarry in order to determine the relationships between these fracture zones and major tectonic events in the eastern Blue Ridge. Our study reveals ultramafic rocks in the study area underwent upper greenschist facies metamorphism. Veins in the study area were conduits for Paleozoic hydrothermal metamorphism, and most veins were reactivated during the Mesozoic crustal extension that created the Atlantic Ocean. Faults in the study area are normal faults striking NE-SW and dipping moderately to the SE, consistent with extensional tectonics during the Atlantic rifting. Slickenside samples indicate that the ultramafic rocks experienced cohesive brittle deformation during the Atlantic rifting.

Date Awarded

Spring 2021



Advisor 1

Christopher Bailey

Advisor 2

Brent Owens