Bedrock Geology and Asbestos Deposits of the Upper Missisquoi Valley and Vicinity, Vermont

Bulletin 1122-B

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The upper Missisquoi Valley and vicinity as described in this report covers an area of about 250 square miles at the headwaters of the Missisquoi River in north-central Vermont. About 90 percent of the area is forested and the remainder is chiefly farm land. The topography reflects the geologic structure and varied resistance of the bedrock to erosion. Most of the area is on the east limb of the Green Mountain anticlinorium, which is the principal structural feature of Vermont. The bedrock is predominantly sedimentary and volcanic rock that has been regionally metamorphosed. It was intruded before metamorphism by mafic and ultramafic igneous rocks, and after metamorphism by felsic and mafic igneous rocks. The metamorphosed sedimentary and volcanic rocks range in age from Cambrian(?) to Middle Silurian, the intrusive igneous rocks from probably Late Ordovician to probably late Permian. Metamorphism and principal folding in the region occurred in Middle Devonian time. The metamorphosed sedimentary and volcanic rocks make up a section at least 25,000 feet thick and can be divided into nine formations. The Hazens Notch formation of Cambrian(?) and Early Cambrian age is characterized by carbonaceous schist. It is succeeded in western parts of the area by the Jay Peak formation of Early Cambrian age, which is chiefly a schist that is distinguished by the general absence of carbonaceous zones; in central parts of the area the Hazens Notch formation is followed by the Belvidere Mountain amphibolite, probably the youngest of the formations of Early Cambrian age. The Ottauquechee formation, composed of carbonaceous phyllite and quartzite, and phyllitic graywacke, is of Middle Cambrian age. The Stowe formation of Late Cambrian(?) and Early(?) Ordovician age overlies the Ottauquechee and is predominantly noncarbonaceous schist, though it also contains greenstone and carbonaceous schist and phyllite. The Umbrella Hill formation of Middle Ordovician age is characteristically a conglomerate in which the mineral chloritoid is common. The overlying Moretown formation, also of Middle Ordovician age, contains granulite and slate, also greenstone and amphibolite of the Coburn Hill volcanic member. The Shaw Mountain formation, made up of conglomerate, phyllite, and limestone, is the oldest Silurian unit. The Shaw Mountain formation is succeeded by the Northfield slate of Middle Silurian age. The igneous rocks of the region include various ultramafic plutonic rocks, such as dunite, peridotite, and serpentinite, probably of Late Ordovician age; sills and nearly concordant dikes of metagabbro of Late Ordovician age; biotite granite plutons or Middle or Late Devonian age, most notably on Eltey Mountain; and hypabyssallamprophyre, probably of late Permian age. Metamorphic zoning is shown by the distribution of rocks of the epidote-amphibolite facies and the greenschist facies in and near the Green Mountains, and near Coburn Hill and Eltey Mountain. Metasomatism related to regional metamorphism has produced porphyroblasts and quartz segregations in the sedimentary and volcanic rocks, and steatitization and carbonatization of serpentinite. Contact metamorphism has formed rocks of the epidote-amphibolite facies near granite plutons, and probably calc-silicate rock at the contacts of ultramafic plutons. The axial anticline of the Green Mountain anticlinorium and other anticlines and synclines to the east are the major longitudinal structural features of the area. These structures are complicated by transverse folds, particularly a syncline in the vicinity of Tillotson Peak. Early minor cross folds that are best developed in the Hazens Notch formation are believed to be genetically related to the transverse folds. The axial planes of the cross folds are folded about the axes of the later longitudinal folds of the Green Mountain anticlinorium. The longitudinal and transverse fold systems probably formed in the same episode of defor

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USGS Numbered Series
Bedrock Geology and Asbestos Deposits of the Upper Missisquoi Valley and Vicinity, Vermont
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Geological Survey (U.S.)
Contributing office(s):
U.S. Geological Survey
Report: iv, pages B1-B78; 2 Plates - Plate 1: 36 x 25 inches, Plate 2: 10 x 14 inches
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Contributions to Economic Geology (1960)