Cores collected during recent drilling in western Cape Cod, Massachusetts provide insight into the topography and petrology of the underlying bedrock. 62 drill sites spread over a ???140 km2 study area produced cores of granitoids (31), orthogneisses (20), basalts/diabases (4), amphibolites (3), felsic mylonites (2), and dolomitic rock (2). Granitoid cores range in composition from granite to tonalite to quartz diorite, but are dominated by single-mica granites. Alteration is common in nearly all cores examined in this study, and is evidenced by the secondary growth of chlorite and epidote. The granitoids resemble rocks of the Dedham and Fall River terranes (Wones and Goldsmith 1991). Gneisses from the study area generally contain the mineral assemblage hornblende+plagioclase+quartz+biotite+epidote??chlorite?? sphene??K-feldspar??sericite+oxides. Based on mineral assemblages, we estimate peak metamorphic grade to be of lower amphibolite facies. X-ray powder diffraction of unmetamorphosed dolomitic cores shows presence of layered silicates (clays), plagioclase, and possible magnesite. Contours of the bedrock surface show locally irregular topography suggesting erosion by glacial scour. The distribution of lithologies suggests a possible continuation of the New Bedford gneissic terrane that outcrops 25 km to the west. Dolomitic rocks may represent a lithified fault gouge material at the eastern edge of the gneissic zone. Basalts/diabases are interpreted to be post-metamorphic dikes of Late Paleozoic age, or possibly associated with Mesozoic rifting.
Additional publication details
Petrography and character of the bedrock surface beneath western Cape Cod, Massachusetts