September 18, 2017

Ouachita Mountains: Rock Strength in Action

Posted by larryohanlon

Sometimes you have to build the field in the lab. At the Virginia Tech Active Tectonics and Geomorphology Lab they do just that. This is the latest in a series of posts shared from their blog. More of their posts can be found here.

Written by The Geo Models (words by Lisa Whalen, video/model by Phil Prince)


The Ouachita orogeny occurred ~300 million years ago when part of South American collided with the southern part of North America.

Image: By R.Q. Foote, L.M. Massingill, and R.H. Wells – Petroleum geology and the distribution of conventional crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids, East Texas basin.

In this model Phil Prince takes us to the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma. Here you will see how the strength of different rock layers coupled with deep erosion can produced the characteristic shape of this range.  Sinuous ridges formed from chert snake around valleys scooped out of shale abutting a broad sandstone plateau.


This post was originally posted on The Geo Models blog.