Day #16 Outcrop: Ocoee Gorge Bedding-Cleavage Relationships

In mapping my deskcrops and outcrops so far I notice that I’ve been neglecting the southern USA – let me see if I can remedy that a bit this weekend.

In the 2000-2001 school year I was a visiting assistant professor at Western Kentucky University, where I contributed to the first ever Geoblog run by Fred Siewers. In the spring of 2001 we made a joint structural geology/petrology field trip to the Ocoee Gorge and Ducktown, TN, on which I had my first opportunity to make the acquaintance of today’s outcrop.

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Bedding-Cleavage Relationships in Slate and Limestone,
Ocoee River Gorge, near Caney Creek, Tennessee

Above you can see an outcrop scale image (left) and a closer view (right) of the angular cleavage-bedding relationships at this locality. Cleavage dips to the east and bedding is nearly vertical. Note that the cleavage, which is well developed in the slate, is nearly absent in the limestone bed.

Geologists may also recall a more recent event that happened just a few miles upstream from this point last fall…