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Petrography and character of the bedrock surface beneath western Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Northeastern Geology and Environmental Sciences

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Abstract

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.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Petrography and character of the bedrock surface beneath western Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Series title:
Northeastern Geology and Environmental Sciences
Volume:
26
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2004
Language:
English
Publisher:
Northeastern Science Foundation
Contributing office(s):
Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description:
12 p.
First page:
230
Last page:
241
Country:
United States
State:
Massachussets
Other Geospatial:
Cape Cod