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Fossils, caves and karst, and how geology affected the Civil War

New GSA field guide highlights geology in and around Richmond, Virginia, USA

Geological Society of America


IMAGE: This is a shaded relief map of Virginia and the surrounding region (map produced from 1-second National Elevation Data). view more

Credit: Credit: Christopher M. Bailey.

Boulder, Colo., USA: A new field guide in conjunction with GSA's Southeastern Section meeting offers seven field guides that explore the diverse geology of Virginia from its Appalachian highlands to the Atlantic shore. The guides cover an array of topics ranging from cave and karst development in the Valley and Ridge to the exceptional fossil localities at the Carmel Church Quarry and the cliffs near Stratford Hall to Precambrian rocks in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Three guides focus on the Paleozoic to Proterozoic tectonic history of the Blue Ridge and Piedmont provinces, two guides discuss the stratigraphy and fossil assemblages preserved in Cenozoic deposits on the Atlantic Coastal Plain, and one guide examines Paleozoic stratigraphy and cave formation in western Virginia.

The final guide explores the relationship between the geology of the Fall Zone and the Civil War during the Petersburg Campaign in 1864-1865. During the siege of Petersburg, both armies took advantage of the unconsolidated Cenozoic sediments of the Coastal Plain to engage in a then-new style of combat--trench warfare.

Volume editors Christopher M. Bailey, College of William & Mary, and Shelley Jaye, Northern Virginia Community College, believe that this field guide volume "neatly illustrates Virginia's geological diversity."


Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through The Geological Society of America online store,, or by contacting GSA Sales and Service,

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting April Leo,

From the Blue Ridge to the Beach: Geological Field Excursions across Virginia
edited by Christopher M. Bailey and Shelley Jaye
Geological Society of America Field Guide 47
FLD047, 174 p., $52.00, GSA member price $36.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-0047-2

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