Mississippian Fossils from Southern Appalachian Metamorphic Rocks and Their Implications for Late Paleozoic Tectonic Evolution

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Science  29 Oct 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5134, pp. 732-734
DOI: 10.1126/science.262.5134.732


Fossils of Periastron reticulatum Unger emended. Beck recovered from the Erin Slate of the Talladega slate belt of Alabama establish that these rocks have a Mississippian (Kinderhookian-Tournaisian) age. The Talladega slate belt, the southwestern extension of the western Blue Ridge belt, was interpreted to have been affected by regional dynamothermal metamorphism and coeval deformation as a result of the Acadian orogeny. This fossil find indicates that metamorphism and deformation of the Talladega belt occurred after the Early Carboniferous (Alleghanian), requiring a reevaluation of tectonic interpretations of the southernmost Appalachians.