Planning Workshop for the ENAM Primary Site

  October 27-29, 2011

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

– Workshop Complete –

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The GeoPRISMS Planning Workshop for the Eastern North American Margin Primary Site is now Complete!


We are pleased to announce a joint workshop aimed at assembling the EarthScope and GeoPRISMS communities interested in the formative onshore and offshore geological, geophysical, and geodynamic processes of Eastern North America (ENAM). Our goal is to focus community effort and research approaches on crucial science targets with a national and international forum of scientists from universities, national labs, industry, federal, and state agencies. The transportable array of EarthScope arrives in the mid-Atlantic region in 2012-13 and GeoPRISMS recently selected ENAM as a primary site for Rift Initiation and Evolution (RIE) study.

The workshop will take as its starting point the ENAM RIE portion of the GeoPRISMS Science and Implementation Plans and the Earthscope Science Plan. The goals of the workshop will be to clarify common research objectives on the Grenville and Appalachian foundation, the structural, magmatic, and geodynamic setting of rift initiation, the rift-to-drift record preserved in sedimentary archives, the processes that characterize the evolution to a mature passive margin, and the active lithospheric and surficial processes that characterize the modern margin with an emphasis on possible feedbacks between surface and deep-Earth processes.

We anticipate funding to support ~75 researchers with a diversity of interests to participate in this workshop, both from the US and abroad, independent of past involvement in MARGINS, GeoPRISMS, or EarthScope research efforts. Post-docs, senior graduate students, and members of underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. Applications should include a brief statement of interest and anticipated contribution to the workshop, and a short (1 to 2 page) CV.

The workshop will be held at the new STEPS facility at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. The program will include a number of overview presentations of eastern North American geology, geophysics, and geodynamics, updates on current GeoPRISMS and Earthscope research projects, break-out sessions, and plenary discussions leading to conclusive decisions on collaborative science targets and research corridors.

Workshop Conveners:

Frank J. Pazzaglia, Lehigh University
Peter Flemings, University of Texas at Austin
Vadim Levin, Rutgers University
Dan Lizarralde, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Basil Tikoff, University of Wisconsin
Martha Withjack, Rutgers University
Maggie Benoit, The College of New Jersey – Student Coordinator and Symposium Convener

Workshop Hotel: The Comfort Suites 120 W. Third St., Bethlehem, PA 18015 (610) 882-9700

Workshop Meeting Venue: Lehigh University STEPS Facility Lehigh University 27 Memorial Drive West Bethlehem, PA 18015 (610)758-3000

Student Symposium | Wednesday, October 26


Day 1 | Thursday, October 27

7:00 Breakfast and registration.

Moderators: Frank Pazzaglia and Vadim Levin
8:00 Welcome, introductions and workshop goals | Frank Pazzaglia
8:15 NSF Program Director comments | C. Estabrook and Bil Haq
8:45 Review of EarthScope and GeoPRISMS science and implementation strategies and key decisions that must be made by each program
GeoPRISMS, research corridors, leveraging effort with industry and USGS, integration with EarthScope efforts |  3Mb – Juli Morgan

EarthScope, foundation of the 2004 workshop, key ENAM research topics, fate of TA and FA instruments and the possibility of an east coast observatory, extension of PBO to the east coast, integration with GeoPRISMS efforts |  3Mb – B. Tikoff

9:30 Plenary talks to introduce the ENAM region Session I
Modification of continental crust and lithosphere by continental rifting/breakup and by terrane accretion |  4Mb W. Thomas
Rifting and drifting in Eastern North America |  5Mb P. Olsen

Insights into rifting processes from variations in magmatism and structure along eastern North America |  9Mb D. Shillington

10:30 Working break, questions and discussion

11:00 Plenary talks to introduce the ENAM region session II
The lithosphere of the Appalachian orogen and the Atlantic passive margin: A seismological perspective |  2Mb K. Fischer
Analogue and numerical models that inform the rifting process  |  2MbJ. Armitage

Forward modeling of rift and passive margin formation; implications for South and Central Atlantic rifted margins | R. Huismans

12:00 Recent relevant EarthScope and GeoPRISMS projects
Southeastern suture of the Appalachian Mountain experiment (SESAME) project – broadband seismic experiment to study continental accretion and rifting |  6Mb L. Wagner

The Salton Seismic Project (SSIP): A joint GeoPRISMS + EarthScope + USGS investigation of Rift Initiation and Evolution |  5MbJ. Hole

12:40 Lunch

Moderators: Martha Withjack and Peter Flemings
1:30 Emerging hot topics (all of these are inter-related and important cross-program synergy building activities)
Late Cenozoic fluvial incision through the Susquehanna River drainage basin: A response to dynamic topography | S. Miller
Mantle dynamics and the recent evolution of the Eastern North American margin |  2Mb R. Moucha
EarthScope seismology |  3Mb M. Benoit

GeoPRISMS seismology |  3MbJ. Gaherty

2:10 Working break, questions and discussions. Includes an introduction to break-out process and objectives.

2:45 Breakout session I. Topical breakouts – introduction to key research ideas, participants are asked to rotate among two or more.
a. Orogenic processes – building the ENAM framework
b. Rifting processes – magmatism and the opening of the Atlantic Ocean
c. Post-rift processes – transformation to a passive margin

d. Neotectonics and surface processes – active processes on the passive margin

4:00 Emerging hot topics (all of these have important broader impacts)

Active deformation in Eastern North America |  3Mb M. Pritchard

Offshore active processes and hazards |  5MbP. Flemings

Diachronous evolution of syn-rift deformation and onset of seafloor spreading in the central Atlantic: Application of inverse continuum-based plate reconstruction methods |  7MbE. Kneller

Cenozoic history written in a passive continental margin: it’s there for the reading |  4Mb G. Mountain

5:00 Working break, questions and discussions

5:30 Breakout session II. Focus areas (e.g. Discovery Corridors) of the science topics; indentification of GeoPRISMS and EarthScope overlap

a. Orogenic processes – building the ENAM framework

b. Rifting processes – magmatism and the opening of the Atlantic Ocean

c. Post-rift processes – transformation to a passive margin

d. Neotectonics and surface processes – active processes on the passive margin

6:45 Board bus in for transport to the mountain-top campus

7:00 Dinner – Dinner presentation by Bob Sheridan on historic integrated approach to ENAM rifting and passive margin evolution

Moderator: Maggie Benoit

8:30 ENAM datasets and broad undergraduate involvement

GeoPRISMS and MARGINS data portal | A. Goodwillie

Potential for an ENAM REU |  3MbE. Johnson

9:30 Board bus for transport back to STEPS

Day 2 | Friday, October 28

7:00 Breakfast

Moderators: Dan Lizzarralde and Peter Flemings
8:00 Report from breakout sessions I and II and open discussion
9:30 Short presentation
Mineral, Virginia, earthquake illustrates seismicity of a passive-aggressive margin |  2MbS. Stein
Geodynamic modeling of the Canadian Margin | S. Ings
Other presentations

10:30 Working break and open discussion

11:00 Reports from aligned facilities and international partners
USGS: USGS work along the Atlantic Margin |  3MbD. Brothers
Implications of RIE basic science and models for an understanding of source and reservoir rocks on passive margin |  500KbG. Karner
Exploring pre-Cretaceous terranes and basins beneath the Atlantic Coastal Plain: Implications for rift-initiation and evolution |  2Mb W. Horton
New geoscience programs and initiatives for offshore Nova Scotia | D. Brown
European perspective on rifted margins | R. Huismans
Magma starved rifting: Galicia/Newfoundland breakup and initiation of  seafloor spreading |  1MbD. Sawyer

12:30 Questions and discussion

1:00 Lunch

Moderators: Basil Tikoff and Lori Summa
2:00 Breakout session I. Focus areas, discovery corridors, and synergy
Specific topics to be defined by the group discussion, possible including ES-GP synergy, fate of the TA in ENAM, and a possible PBO in ENAM. Rooms TBD.

6:30 Dinner

8:00 Poster session (Posters are up the entire meeting)

Day 3 | Saturday, October 29

All workshop participants are invited to attend a half-day field trip to examine Newark Rift Basin and its stratigraphy, sedimentology, and structure. The field trip will begin shortly following the close of the workshop.

Moderators: Frank Pazzaglia and Juli Morgan
8:00 Breakout session reports and open discussion

9:30 Student reports and perspectives

10:00 Break

10:30 Broader impacts

Panel discussion
EarthScope |  1Mb R. Arrowsmith and M. Fouch
GeoPRISMS |  1Mb J. Morgan and M. Benoit
DaVinci Science Center | D. Smith
IRIS |  4MbB. Woodward
R/V M.G. Langseth Facility |  4MbS.Higgins

11:00 Decision making

1. Where are the GeoPRISMS focus areas?
2. Where/how does GeoPRISMS leverage their efforts (industry and USGS)?
3. Are there GeoPRISMS thematic studies to be performed?
4. What are the highest priority EarthScope science targets?
5. What is the fate of the TA and FA once the scheduled deployment ends in 2015?
6. What would be the goals of an ENAM PBO?
7. What emerges as the best oppportunity for GeoPRISMS-EarthScope synergy?

12:30 Lunch (box lunch provided for field trip participants) and closure

1:30 Field trip to the Newark Basin exposures along the Delaware River

Kinematic reconstruction of the central US and conjugate northwest African margin | icon-file 300Kb Van Avendonk et al.

Deep-crustal seismic study of continental rifting in the Newfoundland Basin |  300KbVan Avendonk et al.

A central Appalachian EarthScope transect in Virginia: Examining upper mantle interaction with Paleozoic sutures, Eocene magmatism, and modern seimicity |  3MbBailey et al. 

Testing the lithospheric counterflow hypothesis |  1MbBeaumont et al.

Integrating lithospheric structure, mantle dynamics, and surface processes to investigate topographic and lithospheric evolution of the southeastern US continental margin |  600KbBenoit et al.

EarthScope in New England Appalachians: Structural inheritance and the long-term strenght of continental lithosphere |  500Kb Crespi et al.

Submarine groundwater discharge: linking the continental and oceanic hydropsheres |  500Kb Dugan et al.

Accretion of terranes and growth of continental crust along the southern margin of Laurentia during assembly of Pangea [and modifications by opening of the Gulf of Mexico] |  500Kb Dumond et al.

Slope failure control on margin morphology at the Cape Fear Slide |  500KbFlemings et al.

The role of magmatism in rifting: insight from the lithospheric mantle |  50KbGaherty et al.

GeoPRISMS Data Portal |  900Kb Goodwillie et al.

An REU site at James Madison University: understanding the Rift-to-Drift transition in Eastern North America and the North Atlantic |  200KbJohnson et al.

South Georgia Rift Basin: Rift Initiation and Evolution (RIE) Assessment through Controlled Source Seismology |  500Kb Knapp et al.

High-resolution marine magnetic anomaly data across the margin would delineate structures controlling lithospheric formation and rift localization |  1MbMiller et al.

Late Cenozoic stream incision in the Appalachian region |  300Kb Miller et al.

Evolution of continental crust through two Wilson cycles in ENAM |  700Kb Thomas et al.


Call for White Papers

The transportable array of EarthScope arrives in the eastern United States in 2012-13, and GeoPRISMS has identified the Eastern North America Margin (ENAM) as a primary site of the Rift Initiation and Evolution (RIE) initiative. Collectively, EarthScope and GeoPRISMS research spans the shoreline and, in doing so, provides an integrated framework for understanding the Appalachian mountain building processes, rift-initiation (including orogenic inheritance), and the evolution and structure of a mature continental margin. The associated broader impacts of natural hazards and assessment of the nation’s natural resources, including traditional and alternative sources of energy in the most densely populated part of the country, are fundamental to both programs.

The October 2011 Workshop has two main purposes. First, it will focus community effort and research approaches in the eastern United States, including identification of important EarthScope and GeoPRISMS RIE science targets. In particular, the GeoPRISMS RIE community could use the meeting to identify critical areas to target for focused research. Second, the workshop will establish research strategies that maximize EarthScope and GeoPRISMS synergies to address common research goals.

Scientists interested in participating in the development of the integrated science and implementation plan for ENAM are invited to submit White Papers. The White Papers will play an important role in the workshop outcomes, including guiding breakout discussions at the workshop, and they are thus an important mechanism for community input. White Papers should propose specific science objectives, show suitability for addressing the research themes outlined in the GeoPRISMS and EarthScope Science Plans, and consider the relative merits of PI-driven versus “community” approaches to collecting necessary data sets. Example White Paper topics could include specific scientific questions and/or targets in Eastern North America, potential “Discovery Corridors” (onshore and off), possible community experiments (including joint proposals between EarthScope, GeoPRISMS, or other partners), and implementation strategies for carrying out thematic studies. White Papers addressing the evolution of the passive margin may wish to make an explicit case for how they address one of more of the key RIE questions.

White papers should be submitted to the GeoPRISMS Office by September 15, 2011. In preparation, White Papers authors should consult relevant parts of the Earthscope Science Plan and the GeoPRISMS Science Plan linked below.

All White Papers will be made available to meeting participants and the community prior to the workshop.


White Papers submitted by proponent teams are preferred to ensure broader consensus, although individuals are also welcome to submit.

Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are encouraged to participate in the process of assembling a white paper; similarly, PIs are encouraged to include students, post-docs, and young investigators in author teams.

Authors can contribute more than one white paper.

White Papers should be clear and succinct and are limited to 2 pages of text plus 1 page of figures and references.

White Papers can be submitted even if the authors are unable to attend the meeting.

White Papers that address the integration or complementarity of the EarthScope and GeoPRISMS communities and science goals are particularly encouraged.

The conveners reserve the right to restrict dissemination of papers deemed to be too narrow in scope or not aimed at goals of integrating resources of the relevant programs.

Please provide the following header information on each paper (see Word Template):

White Paper Title
Authors and Affiliations
Contact information
Proposed sites and/or themes addressed
Key types of existing or forthcoming data/infrastructure to build upon

GeoPRISMS Student Symposium for the New Zealand Primary Site

  Cotton Building Room 217, Victoria University, Wellington, NZ
Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Graduate Student Symposium and Field Trip are designed to (1) introduce students to the objectives and opportunities of the EarthScope and GeoPRISMS Programs, (2) provide geologic and geophysical background about Eastern North America,, both onshore and off (3) enable brief student presentations, as well as discussion and interaction in a comfortable setting, and (4) visit relevant geologic field sites in Pennsylvania. All symposium participants will enter the ENAM workshop with a rich background in the workshop topics and objectives, and an understanding of implementation strategies for moving the research horizon forward, as well as a strong cohort of colleagues and a greater voice in decision-making that will take place during the workshop.

8:00 Registration, Breakfast, and Welcome

9:00 Geologic, geophysical, geodynamic, and geomorphic background of ENAM – Appalachian, rift, and recent landscape evolution | Pazzaglia, Withjack, McKeon

10:20 Break

10:30 EarthScope and GeoPRISMS science strategies and rationale for ENAM workshop | Maggie Benoit

11:00 Student research presentations (poster and oral)

12:00 Field trip to Appalachian foreland, basin analysis reconstruction of the Appalachian range. (Box lunch provided) | Frank Pazzaglia

6:30 Student Dinner

6:00 Registration and Science workshop mixer. STEPS concourse A

Poster information

Posters should be 3hx4w feet generally (larger sizes can be accommodated). The poster session is presently scheduled for 8:30-9:30PM on day two of the conference, however posters will be up and viewable during the entire workshop. For more information please contact the GeoPRISMS Office directly.

Helpful Links

Apply to Attend the Workshop
Accept an Invitation to Attend
Submit a White Paper
Participant lodging list

Figure 1.  Workshop attendees gather outside the STEPS facility at Lehigh University during the EarthScope-GeoPRISMS Science Workshop for Eastern North America.

Workshop attendees gather outside the STEPS facility at Lehigh University during the EarthScope-GeoPRISMS Science Workshop for Eastern North America.

Outcomes of the GeoPRISMS ENAM Primary Site Implementation Workshop

An EarthScope- GeoPRISMS Science Workshop for Eastern North America (ENAM) was held at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA on October 27-29, 2011. Approximately 95 people were in attendance. Despite a poorly timed Nor’easter on the last day of the workshop – which ultimately led to four days of power outage in Bethlehem and interesting travel for the participants – the workshop was very successful. A consensus plan for the GeoPRISMS ENAM primary site was reached, and synergies with the EarthScope program were fully explored.

The scale, the complicated record of multiple Wilson cycles, and the along-strike geologic variations of ENAM made selecting a single focus area impractical. Consequently, the workshop identified three potential regions for GeoPRISMS focused research, and articulated the alignment with EarthScope priorities for each of those locations. Additionally, significant discussion addressed thematic and synoptic studies that are less site specific, but which also afford synergistic opportunities between GeoPRISMS and EarthScope science goals.

The three focus areas identified are:

(1) A long, NW-SE oriented swath from the Appalachian foreland in Kentucky to true oceanic crust offshore the Blake Plateau, through the city of Charleston, SC (“The “Charleston Swath”). This area presented clear opportunities for the GeoPRISMS and EarthScope communities to work together on a number of topics. In combination, onshore and offshore studies could address fundamental questions about orogeny, rifting, post-rifting, and neotectonic deformation. The swath includes a classic section through the Appalachian mountains (including the highest topography in the Appalachians), multiple accreted terranes, rifting recorded in the South Georgia basin onshore, effusive breakup magmatism beneath the Carolina trough offshore, two zones of known seismicity (Charleston and Eastern Tennessee), large landslides preserved on the slope and the extensive Blake Ridge gas hydrate province. Work in this area could connect to the funded OINK EarthScope project in the mid-continent, thereby forming a complete swath from the orogenic foreland to oceanic crust.

(2) A swath across the Canadian Appalachians to true oceanic crust offshore Nova Scotia. This area is critical to understanding magmatism as a fundamental control on the process of rifting: It contains the transition from magmatic (south) to amagmatic (north) rupture and continental breakup along eastern North America. Consequently, this study area provides the opportunity to determine the characteristics and causes of this transition (i.e., differences in lithospheric properties and rheologies, extension magnitudes). Attractive targets for the onland component are accretion of the northern Appalachian regions, strike-slip tectonism along terrane boundaries, the record of rifting in the Fundy basin, and the active seismicity of the Charlevoix region. The area has logistical advantages, including abundant offshore industry seismic-reflection data and government and academic seismic-refraction data and some onshore permanent seismic observatories. While the motivation for this study area comes primarily from magmatic-to-amagmatic transition recorded offshore, there was interest in extending the footprint of Transportable Array of USArray into New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, to provide the onshore context for an offshore OBS deployment.

(3) A mid-Atlantic focus area that stretches along strike from about Philadelphia, PA to Richmond, VA and across strike from the Appalachian Plateau to the offshore Baltimore Canyon and Carolina troughs. Onshore, this area offers numerous advantages to studying orogenesis and rifting, and is less affected by terrane accretion than the northern or southern Appalacians. As a corollary, the mid-Atlantic section of the Appalachian orogen provides opportunities to understand the transition between the southern and northern Appalachians. This area contains exposures of both Iapetan and Mesozoic rift margins, and it records a wide range of magmatism, valuable for timing constraints and geodynamic inferences. A key advantage of this area is that it is well suited for linked, interdisciplinary studies of geomorphology, Cenozoic basin development, and upper mantle structure and dynamics. Mantle imaging in this area has already begun, with a recently completed, year-long seismic deployment (TEENA).

In addition to these focus areas, there were two areas of interest from an EarthScope perspective.

First, the New England region was considered for studying orogenic and rift initiation processes. This area provides an extremely telescoped orogeny, the presence of island-arcs as accreted terranes, a major extensional basin, and the presence of an ancient hotspot track. Second, there was interest in extending the scope of the funded SESAME EarthScope project in a variety of ways, including studying the role of terrane (continental fragment) accretion, the role of Iapetan transform faulting on subsequent deformation, or the nature of incomplete rifting on the southern end of the Appalachians. In general, there was support for conducting multiple cross-strike and along-strike swaths through the Appalachian Mountains, in order to develop a time-integrated evolution of the entire mountain belt.

Finally, a model was proposed for future EarthScope community projects that could leverage academic resources and interest in ENAM including, for example, the relatively high number of four-year colleges in the region. The goal would be to enable inclusive participation of geoscientists, in particular, faculty who are experts in the regional tectonic evolution ENAM. One possibility would be to provide community resources for pursuing a variety of synoptic studies. Discussions also considered the next generation of EarthScope science projects, perhaps including extended backbone ENAM TA and PBO deployments.

The meeting attendees are thanked for their active participation and contributing to the spirit of consensus building on the GeoPRISMS implementation plan for the Eastern North American margin, and identifying opportunities for further engaging EarthScope. The graduate students, in particular, were actively engaged in the workshop process and their insights and input were formally presented and played a significant role in moving the discussion forward during the decision-making process. The speakers, break-out group leaders, and white paper authors all contributed to the success the workshop.

The conveners and selected break-out leaders plan to prepare a comprehensive workshop report for distribution by January 2012, and an updated draft of the GeoPRISMS ENAM science implementation plan by February 2012. The implementation plan will be made available for public comment prior to final release. It will serve as a guide for proposals submitted for the next NSF GeoPRISMS solicitation, July 1, 2012, and the next EarthScope solicitation deadline, July 16, 2012.

Workshop Conveners (in alphabetical order):

Frank J. Pazzaglia, Lehigh University
Peter Flemings, University of Texas at Austin
Vadim Levin, Rutgers University
Dan Lizarralde, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
Basil Tikoff, University of Wisconsin
Martha Withjack, Rutgers University
Maggie Benoit, The College of New Jersey – Student Coordinator and Symposium Convener