C Scott Southworth


Project Chief and Principle Investigator, Appalachian Blue Ridge Project:


           Since 2002, we have focused on elucidating the complex structural, metamorphic, and geomorphic evolution of the Southern and CentralAppalachian Blue Ridge Province. The multi-geologic discipline approach involves detailed and regional-scale geologic mapping, geochronology,petrologic and petrographic analysis, resulting in a comprehensive geologic framework synthesis. The project works with collaborators from theEastern and Central USGS Regions, with staff from State Geological Surveys, with academicians from seven universities, and is closely tied to the agency goals of the NationalPark Service.






Scott Southworth 

Research Geologist, GS-1350


B.S. James Madison University, 1979

M.S., University of Maryland, 1993

Project Chief and Principle Investigator, Appalachian Blue Ridge Project


  Geologic mapping of the complex structural, metamorphic, and geomorphic evolution of the Southern and Central Appalachian


Blue Ridge Province. The multi-geologic discipline approach involves detailed and regional-scale geologic mapping, geochronology,


petrologic and petrographic analysis, resulting in a comprehensive geologic framework synthesis. The project works with


collaborators from the Eastern and Central USGS Regions, with staff from State Geological Surveys, with academicians from


seven universities, and is closely tied to the agency goals of the National Park Service. The specific research goals of this project


are to enhance our understanding of the structural and metamorphic history including crystallization ages, age of diagenesis, timing


and conditions of metamorphic events, and the cooling, uplift, and erosion rates of the Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic rocks in


the Southern and Central Appalachians. We are also working on six orogen-wide transects (Great Smoky Mountains, TN/NC, Mount


Rogers, VA/NC, Blue Ridge Parkway/James River, VA, Shenandoah National Park, VA, Rappahannock River, VA, Potomac River,


VA/MD, and Susquehanna River, PA). The project is funded by the National Cooperative Geologic  Mapping Program (NCGMP) and


supports a staff of 8 USGS scientists  and 3 researchers from Universities (Faculty  appointments from George  Washington University,


College  of William  and Mary, and Indiana University), and collaborate with 3 other Faculty  members  (James  Madison University,


University of Tennessee, and the University of Maryland), and geologists of State Geologic Surveys  (2 in Virginia,  1 in Maryland, and


2 in North Carolina). Every year we coordinate and sponsor NCGMP Proposals for Edmap (4) and Statemap (2).


       Current research is on the Mount Rogers Region, VA/NC/TN, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, VA.

          Previous research (2005 to mid-1980's)

 1.   Geology of Shenandoah National Park, VA. 

 2.   Hydrogeologic framework of the fractured-rock aquifer systems of the northern Shenandoah Valley.

 3.   Geologic Maps and Database for the National Capital Region Parks. 

 4.   Geospatial analysis of the relationship between geology and domestic well yield using exploratory variography.

 5.   Geology of the Washington-Baltimore area.

 6.    Geology of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

 7.    Geology of the Maryland Piedmont.

 8.    Geology of Loudoun County, VA.

 9.    Eocene Igneous Intrusive Rocks, VA/WVA. 

10.  Bedrock Landslides, VA.

 11.  Geologic Remote Sensing.


  6    Editorships (1982-2007)

21    Member of Panels and Committees (1983-2010)

  6    Chairman for Committees (1987-2007)

19    Consultant to outside organizations (1985-2009)

  8    Reviewer of Panels, Grants, Fellowships (1994-2008)





+140 for Professional and Public Organizations (1998-2011)




+15 for Professional and Public Organizations from Maryland south to Tennessee/North Carolina (1996-2011)




+13 Workshop participant (1996-2011) and 11 Leader of Seminars (1997-2005)


    Geological Society of America Fellow


2003-04     Organizing Committee, NE-SE Section Meeting, Tysons Corner, Va.

2003-04     Field Trip Committee Chairman, NE-SE Section GSA meeting, Tysons, Va.

2004          Theme Session Co-Chair, The Value of Geologic Maps for Land and Water Resource Management, NE-SE Sections GSA Meeting, Tysons Corner

2006          Theme Session Co-Chair, Recent Advances in western Blue Ridge Geology, SE Section GSA, Knoxville

2007          Theme Session Co-Chair, Geologic Maps Poster Session, SE Section GSA, Charlotte


72            Talks and poster sessions presented at GSA Meetings from 1984-2010


Training: 24 Undergraduate and Graduate students from 10 Universities (1999-2011)




Southworth, S., Schultz, A., and Denenny, D., 2012, Geologic Map of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Region, Tennessee, and North Carolina. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map SIM-2997, scale 1:100,000, with ~50p. pamphlet. http://pubs.usgs.gov/sim/2997/ [Link]

Tollo, R.P., Aleinikoff, J.N., Mundil, R., Southworth, S., Cosca, M.A., Rankin, D.W., Rubin, A., Kentner, A., Parendo, C., and Ray, M., 2012, Igneous activity, metamorphism, and deformation in the Mount Rogers area of SW Virginia and NW North Carolina: A geologic record of Precambrian tectonic evolution of the southern Blue Ridge Province. GSA Field Guides 29. p. 1-66. [Link]

Stokes, R., Wintsch, R., and Southworth, S., 2012, Deformation of amphibolites via dissolution-precipitation creep in the middle and lower crust: Journal of Metamorphic Geology, Vol. 30, p. 723-737. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1314.2012.00989.x [Link]

Tollo, R.P., Aleinikoff, J.N., Southworth, S., Wooden, J.P., Mazdab, F.K., and Fanning, C.M., 2010, Thermomagmatic Evolution of Mesoproterozoic crust in the Blue Ridge of SW Virginia and NW North Carolina: Evidence from U-Pb geochronology and zircon geothermometry: From Rodinia to Pangea: The Lithotectonic Record of the Appalachian Region, Tollo, R.P., Hibbard, J., Karabinos, P., and Bartholomew, M.J., eds., Geological Society of America Memoir 206, p. 859-896. [Link]

Southworth, S., Aleinikoff, J.N., Tollo, R.P., Bailey, C.M., Burton, W.C., Hackley, P.C., and Fanning, 2010, Mesoproterozoic magmatism and deformation in the northern Blue Ridge, Virginia and Maryland: Application of SHRIMP U-Pb geochronology and integrated field studies in the definition of Grenvillian tectonic history in Tollo, R.P., Bartholomew, M.J., Hibbard, J.P., and Karabinos, P.M., eds., From Rodinia to Pangea: The Lithotectonic Record of the Appalachian Region: Geological Society of America Memoir 206, p. 795-836, doi: 10.1130/2010.1206 (31). [Link]

Burton, W.C., and Southworth, S., 2010, A model for Iapetan rifting of Laurentia based on Neoproterozoic dikes and related rocks: From Rodinia to Pangea: The Lithotectonic Record of the Appalachian Region, Tollo, R.P., Hibbard, J., Karabinos, P., and Bartholomew, M.J., eds., Geological Society of America Memoir 206, p. 455-476. [Link]

Wintsch, R.P., Kunk, M.J., Mulvey, B.K., and Southworth, C.S., 2010, 40Ar/39Ar Dating of Silurian and Late Devonian cleavages in lower greenschist-facies rocks in the Westminster terrane, Maryland, USA: GSA Bulletin, v. 122, no. 5/6, p. 658-677. [Link]

Southworth, S., Aleinikoff, J., Bailey, C., Burton, W., Crider, E., Hackley, P., and Tollo, R., 2009, Geologic Map of the Shenandoah National Park Region, Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009-1153, scale 1:100,000. [Link]

Yager, Richard M, Southworth, Scott, and Voss, Clifford I., 2008, Simulation of ground-water flow in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia and West Virginia, using variable-direction anisotropy in hydraulic conductivity to represent bedrock structure: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2008-5002, 66p. [Link]