Date of Award

Spring 1986

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Ramesh Venkatakrishnan

Committee Member

Lauck W. Ward

Committee Member

Randall S. Spencer

Committee Member

Carl F. Koch

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.G4M84


A lineament study was conducted in the north central coastal plain of Virginia using five different data sources; color infrared photo images, rectified stream segments, bouguer gravity anomaly maps, aeromagnetic anomaly maps, and residual magnetic anomaly maps to determine the potential of aerial photographic analysis in the delineation of basement structural features beneath the sedimentary cover of the Virginia Coastal Plain.

Statistical analysis of 1602 airphoto lineaments and 2337 rectified stream segments produced 15 airphoto lineaments and 18 rectified stream segment lineaments in the north central Coastal Plain Province of Virginia. Azimuthal coincidence of these 33 lineaments determined that there were 5 dominant azimuth trends. These are: northeast (N20°-60°); northwest (N300°-320°); east-West; north-South; and northwest (N330°-350°). Photogeologic lineaments were compared with the trends of geophysical lineaments. Coincidental spatial and azimuthal relationships between trends noted from photogeologic analysis, with geophysical (magnetic and gravity) lineaments of similar azimuthal trend suggests the presence of thirteen separate lineament clusters in the study area.

Analysis of the spatial relationships between photogeologic and geophysical (magnetic and gravity) lineaments indicates that eight of the thirteen lineament clusters represent structural features beneath the surface of Coastal Plain. Five of the above eight lineament clusters may be inherited Late Paleozoic structures. Three additional lineament clusters parallel trends which can be related to cross-structural Alleghenian aged structures.

The analysis presented in this report suggests a tectonic inheritance and propagation of basement structures into the Coastal Plain cover. Only a detailed drilling program will prove such a correspondence and validate the conclusions of this report.


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