Pioneers of Appalachian Geology

Building the Geological Foundation

The Ancient Appalachians as Ambassador of the Geosciences to Modern  Societies…


Throughout human history, the geological foundation of our landscape has determined the location of settlements, trade routes, and human migratory paths, inextricably linking our culture to geology. The International Appalachian Trail (IAT) addresses our common geoheritage across the North Atlantic conjugate margins by establishing a long distance walking trail that extends beyond borders to all geographic regions once connected by the “Appalachian Mountain” range formed more than 400 million years ago on the super-continent Pangea.  Early observations of the apparent relationships between the continents inspired explorations that informed our current understanding of the geologic history of the Appalachian/Caledonian terranes.


To ensure our commitment to the heritage of the Appalachian/ Caledonian terranes, the members of the International Appalachian Trail are acknowledging contributions of geoscience investigators who over many decades of mapping and research contributed to the development of the theory of Plate Tectonics and successfully applied it to the Appalachian terranes, thereby establishing the foundation for the IAT. 


A committee of IAT/SIA geologists; Walter Anderson, Robert Marvinney, Jim Hibbard, John Calder, and Hugh Barron established guidelines for choosing the deceased honorees outlining the key contributions to Appalachian/Caledonian geology.



Pioneer Geologists

Building the Geological Foundation

Plate Tectonics


Advancing the Plate

Tectonics Model


Head of Border Trail Between US and Canada

Maine Chapter of the International Appalachian Trail • 27 Blake Street * Presque Isle, ME 04769