Grandfather Mountain Formation

Grandfather Mountain Quartzites at Beacon Heights

Eolian Deposition

Students in a sophmore-level Evolution of the Earth course visit Grandfather Mountain Quartzites at Beacon Heights, which preserve relict crossbedding, some of which is > 1 m scale and therefore may indicate eolian deposition.



 Geology students at Beacon Heights


student examining metaconglomerate


Students can observe boulder-sized specimens of the Grandfather Mountain metaconglomerate along the roadside near Banner Elk, NC. Appreciated by locals as "puddingstone", this rock is dominantly green due to greenschist facies metamorphism which produced a matrix rich in chlorite + epidote + sericite. Granuale- to pebble-sized clasts include white to pink granitic gneisses (Grenvillian basement), white quartz, and interformational clasts of red to purple mudstone, and black metasiltstone and metabasalt.