Local News

Geopark Commemorates Appalachian Map
24-12-2018

On December 15, Cabox Geopark, a project of the IATNL, commemorated the 40th Anniversary of the Tectonic Lithofacies Map of the Appalachian Orogen. The map was compiled by renowned Newfoundland Geologist Harold “Hank” Williams, with assistance from his graduate student Jim Hibbard who continued to update and digitize the map at North Carolina State University where he was Professor Emeritus until his recent retirement.

 

(L-R) PAUL WYLEZOL, CABOX GEOPARK; ADRIAN HULME, OBIEC; ARNE HELGELAND, IATNL; ROB THOMAS AND ERIC BOURGEOIS, SALTBOX RESTAURANT

 

In 2015, Jim joined the International Appalachian Trail (IAT) at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Biennial at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia, where they presented Tectonic Lithofacies Maps to the Appalachian Trail Museum in Pine Grove State Park, Pennsylvania (where in June 2010 the IAT welcomed Scotland’s West Highland Way as its first European chapter), and the Executive Director and Management of the ATC in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

 

(L-R) RICHARD ANDERSON, IAT FOUNDER; LARRY LUXEMBERG, AT MUSEUM PRESIDENT; JIM HIBBARD; & HUGH BARRON, BRITISH GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

 

Harold “Hank” Williams is generally considered Newfoundland’s best known scientist, who in the 1960s helped confirm the theory of plate tectonics and whose re-mapping of the Humber Arm Allochthon led to UNESCO World Heritage status for Gros Morne National Park. It is said that Hank’s Tectonic Lithofacies Map of the Appalachian Orogen “must be regarded as the most outstanding contribution to Appalachian geology” … and few geology departments in the western hemisphere and Europe do not have hanging it on their walls.” It is the first map to depict orogen-scale tectonic elements in terms of their original settings and locations and its influence has pervaded all subsequent studies of the Appalachians and contributed to the understanding of other ancient orogens around the world.

 

Harold “Hank” Williams points to the Bay of Islands Ophiolite Complex on his Tectonic Lithofacies Map of the Appalachian Orogen

 

For more on the story, go to the www.caboxgeopark.org.