Pegmatite geology of the Shelby district, North Carolina

Open-File Report 58-40




The Shelby district is divided into a northwestern and a southeastern province. The rocks in the southeastern province include various units in the Battleground schist formation and the Yorkville granodiorite. Those in the northwestern province include the Carolina gneiss, with its Shelby gneiss member, and the Toluca quartz monzonite. The Cherryville quartz monzonite forms a batholith that is just west of the boundary between the two provinces. Pegmatites related to both the Toluca and the Cherryville quartz monzonites lie in the Carolina gneiss and many dikes of pegmatite that are related to the Cherryville quartz monzonite are in the tin-spodumene belt that lies along the boundary between provinces. The rocks of the southeastern province have been bent into steep isoclinal folds; those of the northwestern province were bent into open folds and gently-dipping isoclinal folds. The rocks to the southeast have been metamorphosed in the epidote-amphibolite facies whereas the rocks to the northwest represent the amphibolite or granulite facies. The pegmatites related to the Toluca quartz monzonite form sills, dikes, and concordant lenses in the Carolina gneiss, as well as dikes in the Toluca quartz monzonite. The bodies are unzoned and consist mainly of gneissic microcline-plagioclase-quartz pegmatite. The pegmatites related to the Cherryville quartz monzonite form dikes and disconformable lenses in the Carolina gneiss and the Toluca quartz monzonite. These pegmatites range widely in composition and many are zoned. The dikes west of the Cherryville batholith are rich in muscovite and plagioclase and may contain no microcline or only a moderate amount of microcline. Quartz cores and microcline-rich intermediate zones are common. Similar pegmatite forms dikes along the west edge of the tin-spodumene belt. The tin-spodumene belt containes albite-microcline-spodumene-quartz pegmatite. These dikes of albitic pegmatite are largest and most nearly parallel to one another south of Kings Mountain. Farther north they lie in fractures of several sets. The main factors that affected the development of zones in the pegmatite dikes are composition of magma, temperatures of magma and wall rock, and deformation during crystallization. For best development of zones and the growth of the largest muscovite books the rate of cooling and the rate of crystal growth must be rather fast. Complete consolidation probably was reached in most dikes within a gew years after the start of crystallization.

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Pegmatite geology of the Shelby district, North Carolina
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey],
123 p. ill., maps (1 col.) ;28 cm.