FIELD TRIP GUIDEBOOKS, VOL. T351, PP. 35-45, 1989
Dan River-Danville Basin, North Carolina and Virginia
The Dan River-Danville basin, approximately 167 km long and from 3 to 15 km wide, is an exceptionally narrow and long basin
(Figure 2.1). The basin is bounded on the northwest by a southeast-dipping normal fault system, referred to as the Chatham
fault zone, toward which the sedimentary rocks in the basin steeply dip (20°–45°). The fault zone strikes approximately N30E°–N35°E,
and dips approximately 44° SE (S.E. Halladay, unpublished manuscript). The southeastern edge of the basin is predominantly
an unconformity, but a northwest-dipping normal fault is present locally (S.E. Halladay, unpublished manuscript). The basin
straddles the North Carolina-Virginia state line, and the rocks in each state have been described in separate publications.
Meyertons (1959, 1963) mapped the rocks in Virginia (Danville basin), and Thayer (1967, 1970) and Thayer et al (1970) mapped the rocks in North Carolina (Dan River basin). Although there is only one basin, a dual system of nomenclature
arose, and the basin is referred to as the Dan River-Danville basin (Robbins and Traverse, 1980). The rocks in the basin have
been defined as the Dan River Group (Thayer, 1970), but lithostratigraphic nomenclature changes across the state line. Late
Triassic (late middle and late Carnian) pollen, spores, and vertebrates have been found in the Cow Branch Formation of the
Dan River Group (Olsen et al., 1978, 1982; Robbins and Traverse, 1980; Thayer et al, 1982). The total stratigraphic thickness of sedimentary rocks in the basin is estimated at 1100 m in the narrowest part
of the basin, and may be more than 4000 m in the widest part (Henika, 1981).
Citation: Gore, P. J. W., and