Preliminary analysis of lineaments and engineering properties of bedrock, Penobscot Bay area, Maine

Open-File Report 77-886

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A remote sensing study of coastal and near coastal Maine was undertaken to identify bedrock features of possible importance to construction. Major lineaments were identified that separate the region into four distinct terrains. Within each terrain, smaller lineaments and other physiographic features show distinctive and consistent patterns, reflecting similarities in bedrock lithology and structure. The major linear features are given the following provisional geographic names: I. Lewiston line 2. Merrymeeting lineament 3. Dover-Foxcroft line 4. Orland lineament 5. Union lineament These linear or curvilinear trends are caused by lithologic contrasts, joints, faults, or foliation in the middle and lower Paleozoic phyllites, schists, gneisses, and granite intrusives. Initial field and laboratory results from a pilot study of bedrock engineering conditions indicate that variations in rock strength and fracture spacing are controlled by lithology, intensity of structural deformation, and alteration. At several locations in the study area faults and major joints are alined with a major lineament. Strength anisotropy ratios are as high as 10 in the foliated rocks but near 1 in the granites. The higher compressive strength direction commonly is perpendicular to foliation and to lineament trends which, in turn, are parallel to faults, major joints, or foliation. Fracture spacing in rocks in the field study area averages 0.5 m for granite and ranges from 0.2 cm to 0.75 m, with an average of 0.15 m, in metamorphic rocks. Diagnostic indications useful for estimating certain construction conditions are shown by point-load and uniaxial compressive strengths. Values for fresh rock range from less than 30 MN/m 2 for weakly bonded phyllite to more than 350 MN/m 2 for dense andesite and metasiltstone. Rock workability is directly related to compressive strength and spacing of joints.

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Preliminary analysis of lineaments and engineering properties of bedrock, Penobscot Bay area, Maine
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Open-File Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
iii, 23 leaves :ill., maps (1 fold.) ;28 cm.; (26 p. - PGS)