Geology of the Windsor quadrangle, Massachusetts

Open-File Report 67-170




The Windsor quadrangle lies on the boundary between the eugeosynclinal and miogeosynclinal rocks of the Appalachian geosyncline on the western flank of the metamorphic high in western New England. Precambrian rocks crop out in a north-trending belt in the central part of the quadrangle. They have been classified into 2 formations. The Stamford Granite Gneiss crops out in the eastern half of the Precambrian terrane. It is a microcline-quartz-biotite augen gneiss. Stratified Precambrian rocks (the Hinsdale Gneiss) crop out entirely the west of the Stamford Granite Gneiss. They are predominantly highly metamorphosed felsic gneisses and .quartzites with minor calc-silicate rock, amphibolite, and graphitic gneiss. Eugeosynclinal rocks (the Hoosac Formation and the Rowe Schist), .ranging in age from Lower Cambrian to Lower Ordovician, crop out in a north-trending belt east of the Precambrian terrane. They are composed predominantly of albite schist and muscovite-chlorite schist with minor garnet schist, quartz-muscovite-calcite schist, felsic granulite and gneiss, quartzite, greenschist, and carbonaceous phyllite and schist. West of the Precambrian rocks, the Hoosac Formation is overlain by a miogeosynclinal sequence (the Dalton Formation, Cheshire Quartzite, Kitchen Brook Dolomite, Clarendon Springs Dolomite, Shelburne Marble, and the Bascom Formation) ranging in age from Lower Cambrian to Lower Ordovician. These rocks are unconformably overlain by the Berkshire Schist of Middle Ordovician age that is composed of carbonaceous schist, phyllite, and quartzite. The relationships in the zone of transition between the miogeosynclinal and eugeosynclinal rocks are unknown because the rocks of this zone are no longer present. The contact between the eugeosynclinal Hoosac Formation and the Dalton Format ion is conformable and deposition. The dominant structure is a large recumbent, northwest-facing anticline (the Hoosac nappe) with a Precambrian co re. The miogeosynclinal rocks are inverted in the northwestern part of the quadrangle and upright in the southwestern part of the quadrangle. A later generation of open, post-metamorphic folds has folded the recumbent folds in the miogeosynclinal rocks. The eugeosynclinal rocks show 3 phases of folding. The earliest folds are isoclinal, have steep plunges, were synmetamorphic, and have a strong axial plane schistosity. Two post-metamorphic generations of folds are more open and have axial plane cleavage. The development of the Hoosac nappe and the isoclinal folds was accompanied by regional metamorphism of the garnet zone. The pressure exceeded the pressure for the triple point of the Al2SiO 5 polymorphs. The composition of the paragonite coexisting with muscovite suggests a period of retrograde metamorphism for the Paleozoic rocks as well as the Cambrian rocks that were originally of higher grade (sillimanite? ). Later events include high-angle faulting (Triassic?), erosion, and Pleistocene glaciation.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Geology of the Windsor quadrangle, Massachusetts
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey,
210 p. ill., maps ;29 cm.