Saprolite expose below soil in the Piedmont.

Fall Zone

Belle Isle Rapids

The Fall Zone delineates the boundary between the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont.  Here rivers draining the Piedmont drop steeply to sea level and in the process form dramatic rapids.  

The Neoproterozoic Lynchburg Group

Boulder conglomerate in the Rockfish Conglomerate at the base of the Neoproterozoic Lynchburg Group, Nelson County.

The Neoproterozoic Lynchburg Group is a thick sequence of metasedimentary rocks exposed in the eastern Blue Ridge from northern to south-central Virginia.  These deposits range from coarse-grained conglomerate to fine-grained mudstone.

Siluro-Devonian cross bedded carbonate strata


Twenty years of change at Cedar Island


Cedar Island is one of Virginia’s barrier islands that separates the Eastern Shore from the Atlantic Ocean. Barrier islands are dynamic environments that respond quickly to environmental changes. Over time barrier islands move, and their shorelines migrate. During the past two decades shoreline change at the south end of Cedar Island has been dramatic. Compare the 1994 […]

Grenvillian Gneiss

Catoctin Columns

Well-exposed columnar joints in the Ediacaran Catoctin Formation.  Exposure on Compton Mountain in Shenandoah National park.

K-feldspar Granite, Blue Ridge

Coarse-grained K-feldspar granite of Mesoproterozoic age (~1.05 Ga)  exposed in the Blue Ridge province Nelson County, Virginia.

Karst Topography

Karst topography, including  sinkholes and caves, developed on soluble limestone in the Valley & Ridge province, Russell County, Virginia.

Trellis Drainage Pattern

Trellis drainage pattern in the Valley & Ridge in the headwaters region of the James, Potomac, and Ohio river systems in northwestern Virginia and eastern West Virginia.