In class on Monday we learned about some of the different belts of rocks located in North Carolina. Each belt is an area of rocks that have similar features and come from the same point in geologic history.
The belt furthest to the west is the Blue Ridge Belt. These rocks are dated to approximately one billion to one and a half billion years old. This makes the Blue Ridge belt the oldest in North Carolina. Here to rocks a comprised of all three types, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. This belt is mainly know for its deposits of feldspar and olivine.
The next belt moving east is the Inner Piedmont Belt and it was formed about 500-700 million years ago. This is the most metamorphosed belt of the piedmont. The rocks here are mostly gneiss and schist with some granitic intrusions.
The next belt east of the Inner Piedmont Belt is the Kings Mountain Belt and it was formed about 400-500 million years ago. This belt contains mostly moderately deformed and metamorphosed volcanic and sedimentary rocks. This belt is known for its deposits of schist, marble, phyllite, and quartzite.
Next we have the Charlotte Belt. This belt consists mostly of igneous rocks that are about 300-500 million years old. These rocks are used mainly in construction and in making new roads.
The Carolina Slate belt is next. It is made from heated and deformed volcanic and sedimentary rocks that originated in Gondwanaland. It is here where many gold mines and refineries are found in North Carolina. In this area the mineral content of the water plus the minerals in the rocks made it perfect for the formation of gold.
There are also three Triassic Basins located in North Carolina. These basins are mostly sedimentary rocks that filled in valleys millions of years ago. The rocks found here are mostly conglomerate, sandstone, and mudstone. There is also a belt named the Raleigh Belt. This belt contains mostly geniss, schist, and granite.
Lastly there is the Eastern Slate Belt. This belt contains slightly metamorphosed sedimentary and volcanic rocks. This belt is very similar the Carolina Slate Belt to the east but with the metamorphic processes taking place.
To the east of this is the Coastal Plain. The Coastal Plain contains mostly all sedimentary rocks and is the largest belt in NC. The thickness of these rocks gets thicker as you move further east towards the present coast. Here the rocks consist of mostly sand and clay sediments.