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Domal Structure in Devonian Rocks of Kimberling Basin, Bland County, Virginia

Robert C. McDowell

The Kimberling basin, which is floored with Middle Devonian clastic rocks, is a topographic and structural low in the Narrows fault block of the southern Appalachian Valley and Ridge province in Bland County, Virginia. The basin is bounded on the northwest and southeast by the southeast-dipping Narrows and Saltville thrust faults, respectively. Two doubly plunging anticlines lie along the strike of the basin. Lower Ordovician rocks are exposed in the Burkes Garden dome to the southwest, and Lower Cambrian rocks are present in the core of the Bane dome to the northeast. Previous workers have postulated continuity between the Burkes Garden and Bane domes through the Kimberling basin, as well as the presence in the basin of an anomalously thick Devonian clastic section, which has been as ribed by some authors to "contemporaneous downwarp" of a "depositional syncline." Recent mapping has shown both of these postulates to be incorrect. The basin contains an anticline-syncline pair that is en echelon with the axes of the Burkes Garden and Bane anticlines and that trends about 20° more northerly than the regional strike of the bounding thrusts. Rediscovery of small outcrops of Lower and Middle Devonian Huntersville Chert and Rocky Gap Sandstone in the core of the Kimberling basin anticline, which were recorded by M. R. Campbell in 1896 but overlooked by later mappers, shows that the Devonian clastic sequence has a normal thickness and that the Kimberling basin contains a domal structure similar to the Burkes Garden and Bane domes.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91031©1988 AAPG Eastern Section, Charleston, West Virginia, 13-16 September 1988.