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State and Regional Geology: A Guide to Resources (June 2014): Southeastern United States

By Linda R. Zellmer

Southeastern United States

The southeastern states include Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.  There are no volumes that cover the entire region, although the geology of the southern Appalachians is described in Studies of Appalachian Geology: Central and Southern, edited by George Fisher et al.  Robert Renken described the geology of the Coastal Plain of the region in Hydrogeology of the Southeastern Coastal Plain Aquifer System in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.

Virginia occupies several different geological provinces, including the Appalachian Plateau, Valley and Ridge, Blue Ridge, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain.  Two online resources, The Geological Evolution of Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic Region, developed by Lynn Fichter and Steve Baedke at James Madison University, and The Geology of Virginia, developed by the Department of Geology at The College of William and Mary, discuss Virginia’s geology in general terms.  Richard Dietrich’s Geology and Virginia provides a general introduction to the state’s geology.  Two publications of the Virginia Division of Geology and Mineral Resources, Geologic Studies: Coastal Plain of Virginia by Robert Teifke and Emil Onuschak and Post-Miocene Stratigraphy and Morphology, Southeastern Virginia by R. Oaks and N. Coch, describe the geology, stratigraphy, and geologic history of Virginia’s Coastal Plain.

In Geology and Natural Resources of West Virginia, Paul Price, Rietz Tucker, and Oscar Haught describe West Virginia’s geology, stratigraphic units, and natural resources.  Another publication, Geologic History of West Virginia by Dudley Cardwell, summarizes the state’s geology in general terms.

Several volumes are available on the geology of North and South Carolina.  The Geology of the Carolinas, edited by J. Horton and Victor Zullo, is a collection of technical articles published in honor of the Carolina Geological Society’s fiftieth anniversary.  Kevin Stewart and Mary-Russell Roberson’s Exploring the Geology of the Carolinas: A Field Guide to Favorite Places from Chimney Rock to Charleston contains an introduction to geology and geologic time, information about North and South Carolina’s geologic history, and a collection of field trip guides to significant geological sites in the two states.  North Carolina: Its Geology and Mineral Resources by Jasper Stuckey provides information on the stratigraphy, geology, and natural resources of the state.  In Carolina Rocks!: The Geology of South Carolina, Carolyn Murphy describes the state’s geology, barrier islands, bays, and fossils, along with the geology and impact of the Charleston earthquake.

Like many of the southeastern states, Georgia is made up of older, crystalline rocks and sedimentary rocks of the Coastal Plain.  Paul Huddlestun has recently redescribed the geology and stratigraphy of the Oligocene through Holocene units of the Georgia Coastal Plain in two works: A Revision of the Lithostratigraphic Units of the Coastal Plain of Georgia: The Oligocene and The Miocene through Holocene: A Revision of the Lithostratigraphic Units of the Coastal Plain of Georgia.  The Structure, Stratigraphy, Tectonostratigraphy, and Evolution of the Southernmost Part of the Appalachian Orogen by Michael Higgins et al. describes the evolution of the southern Appalachians in Georgia and Alabama based on plate tectonics.

Two recent books describe the geology of Florida, which is primarily composed of Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits overlying older Paleozoic rocks.  The Geology of Florida, edited by Anthony Randazzo and Douglas Jones, is a collection of technical articles describing the state’s geology, geologic history, and fossils, along with its economic, environmental, and coastal geology.  Geologic History of Florida: Major Events That Formed the Sunshine State, by Albert Hine, is a more general summary of the state’s geology.  Both volumes interpret Florida’s geology based on plate tectonics.

Works Cited