MARCH 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018
6:00 - 7:30 pm

Pellissippi State Technical Community College
10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville
J.L Goins Administration Building
Faculty/Staff Dining Room


Folds in the Ft. Payne Formation near Celina, Tennessee
Tectonic or Non-Tectonic Origin

(prelude for March 24 Field Trip)


Dr. Robert D. Hatcher, Jr.
UT Distinguished Scientist & Professor
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
and Science Alliance Center of Excellence
Knoxville, Tennessee


A series of mostly new exposures of Ft. Payne Formation reveal several intriguing folds, along with several reefs and other stratigraphic features. Although these exposures are just above the base of the Ft. Payne, a wide variety of primary sedimentary features are present in these exposures, along with the folds. Most of the exposures are only a few years old but the last exposure we will visit is perhaps 20 years old.

These exposures are located in the Eastern Highland Rim near Celina, Tennessee some 40 miles west of the last faults related to the Appalachian orogenies, yet they contain folds that range from very open to tight, and even isoclinal and recumbent. Some folds clearly involve small crinoid debris mounds, and those at the last stop contain a weak but visible axial planar cleavage. So, are these some kind of Appalachian tectonic outlier or are they an integral part of the complex depositional history of the Ft. Payne? You can draw your own conclusions from this presentation and field trip on March 24.



Dr. Robert D. Hatcher, Jr. is currently a Distinguished Scientist and Professor with the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee. Dr. Hatcher's primary research goal is to gain a better understanding of the evolution of continental crust, mostly through the study of mountain chains and mature crust. Most of his research has been concentrated in the southern and central Appalachians, but large amounts of time have been spent visiting and studying other mountain chains, and Precambrian continental crust. His primary interest is in the mechanics and kinematics of large faults, which formed a natural transition into related long-term interests in the geologic controls of petroleum occurrence in the Appalachians, radioactive waste management, the causes of intraplate seismicity and geologic evidence for determination of recurrence intervals for intraplate earthquakes. While a structural geologist, most of his research is interdisciplinary, integrating stratigraphic, geochronologic, geochemical, and geophysical data into structural studies. As a field geologist, however, his field data form the basis for all other supporting studies. He has been involved for many years with geophysicists and geologists in other academic institutions and the USGS in the geologic interpretation of seismic reflection and potential field (aeromagnetic and gravity) data. From 1981 through 1983 (part of the Bechtel team), he participated in the Electric Power Research Institute-sponsored study of eastern seismicity, and during the late 1970s and early 1980s participated in the TVA-sponsored Southern Appalachian Tectonic Study (with S. S. Alexander and W. J. Hinze, 1979-1980). Current research support includes a Nuclear Regulatory Commission grant for study of the East Tennessee seismic zone (through 2015), a USGS EDMAP grant (detailed geologic mapping of stream terraces around Douglas Lake), and a National Park Service grant (detailed geologic mapping, Obed W & SR region).


Page updated March 4, 2018