Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Field Trip Guidebooks Series, Volume 157.
Central Virginia is situated towards the southern end of the central portion of the Appalachian orogen. This orogen extends from Alabama to Newfoundland, along the eastern margin of North America, Figure l-IA. The orogen is a regionally identifiable unit of a larger mobile belt, now disrupted, which includes the Caledonides of the British Isles and Scandinavia, and the Mauretanides of West Africa. A commonly accepted model for the evolution of the Appalachian orogen places it within the broad context of the opening and closing of the late Precambrian-Paleozoic Iapetus Ocean. The internal elements of the orogen appear to be a mosaic of accreted suspect terranes (Williams and Hatcher, 1983).