Pioneers of Appalachian Geology

Geology is the heart of the International Appalachian Trail. The idea for the IAT is based on the fact that the mountains of Eastern North America, the British Isles and Western Europe and North Africa had a common origin around 400 million years ago on the super-continent Pangea. Since then, as the once adjacent margins of the North American, Eurasian and African tectonic plates slowly diverged, the shared geological foundation influenced the location of settlements, trade routes, and human migratory paths. The IAT seeks to highlight our shared geoheritage through the simple activity of walking on a trail in a landscape that is familiar, while exposing the hiker to the variety of cultures and customs that have developed over time.

The IAT is indebted to these Pioneers of Appalachian Geology. A committee, formed of IAT/SIA geologists Walter Anderson, Robert Marvinney, Jim Hibbard, John Calder, and Hugh Barron, has established guidelines for identifying the key contributors to our understanding to Appalachian/Caledonian geology. Follow the links below to read the the biographies of these Geologic Pioneers.