Georgia’s “secret” volcanic range
POOF member, Suzanne Ward, mentioned the volcanic cones in the Pigeon Mountain Volcanic Range. Virtually nobody knows about this unusual geological feature in the Southeast . . . even the state’s geology professors seem to be unaware of it. I called the directors of the geology departments in Georgia’s three largest public universities. None of them knew much about the geology of the North Georgia Mountains and didn’t even know that the volcanic cones were there.
The only reason I know is that there are frequent tremblers under Pigeon Mountain. It is dormant and last erupted in 1857. The frequent little earthquakes trigger the “Earthquake Code” requirements of the International Building Code. I telephoned the professors so that I could get more specific information on the amount structural reinforcement, my buildings needed. They were no help at all.
The generally extinct line of volcanoes begin at Curahee Mountain near the Savannah River and are aligned roughly East-West across the state. They cross the Blue Ridge Mountain Range and have distinctly different shapes than the Blue Ridge Mountains. They are the source of the gold, copper, ruby, sapphire, garnet and diamond deposits in North Georgia.
Calderas are especially large volcanic basins. There are several ancient collapsed calderas in North Georgia. We know of three that contain complexes of Native American tombs. They are often called caves by the local mountaineers, but were hand dug for burials. This is what a collapsed caldera looks like on a topographic map.
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