Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Field Trip Guidebooks Series, Volume 218.
Geomorphology and surficial geology increasingly are being used to address questions about climatic and tectonic histories of specific landscapes. In the Appalachian Piedmont, an eroding landscape in dynamic equilibrium (Hack, 1960), the adjustment of form to process may occur rapidly enough to preclude accurate identification of climatic or tectonic events in landforms or surficial stratigraphy. In contrast, depositional areas like the Atlantic Coastal Plain are more likely to retain a stratigraphic and morphologic record of events affecting the contributing drainage basins. The purposes of this field trip are to exhibit the types of weathered surficial materials occurring in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain parts of the Rappahannock River Basin, to discuss the synthesis of a Cenozoic climatic and tectonic history from surficial deposits and landforms, and to discuss problems of age-dating and measurements of geomorphic processes over a variety of timescales.