Geologic Formations

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts lies entirely within the Piedmont Province (plateau between the coastal plain and the Appalachian Mountains). The Park’s elevation ranges from 250 to 350 feet above sea level. The highest hills are in the southeastern portion of the park and the lowest point in the floodplain in the northwest corner of the site.

Geological scoping sessions have not been completed for the park and there are no collections of paleontological material. The geology of the park offers essentially no potential for future discoveries of fossils.

The oldest formation underlying the Park is the Precambrian-Early Cambrian Peters Creek Schist. The Peters Creek Schist contains a variety of metamorphic rocks including metagraywackes and schists. Fossils are not typically found in metamorphic rocks and none are known from the Peters Creek Schist. The Peters Creek Schist is mapped as the Mather Gorge Formation within Great Falls Park (Southworth and others, 2000). Granodiorite is also mapped within the Park (Drake and Lee, 1989). Granodiorite is an intrusive (subsurface) igneous rock and as such does not preserve fossils. Much of the western portion of Wolf Trap is mapped as Quaternary (recent) Alluvium by Drake and Lee (1989). The sand, gravel, silt, and clay of this unit was deposited as floodplain and alluvial sediments during modern times. Fossils are not known from this unit and there is little potential for fossils because of its modern age.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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1551 Trap Road
Vienna, VA 22182-1643


(703) 255-1800

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