The surficial geologic map shows the distribution of nonlithified earth materials at land surface in an area of 24 7.5-minute quadrangles (1,238 mi2 total) in central Massachusetts. Across Massachusetts, these materials range from a few feet to more than 500 ft in thickness. They overlie bedrock, which crops out in upland hills and as resistant ledges in valley areas. The geologic map differentiates surficial materials of Quaternary age on the basis of their lithologic characteristics (such as grain size and sedimentary structures), constructional geomorphic features, stratigraphic relationships, and age. Surficial materials also are known in engineering classifications as unconsolidated soils, which include coarse-grained soils, fine-grained soils, and organic fine-grained soils. Surficial materials underlie and are the parent materials of modern pedogenic soils, which have developed in them at the land surface. Surficial earth materials significantly affect human use of the land, and an accurate description of their distribution is particularly important for assessing water resources, construction-aggregate resources, and earth-surface hazards, and for making land-use decisions. This work is part of a comprehensive study to produce a statewide digital map of the surficial geology at a 1:24,000-scale level of accuracy. This report includes explanatory text (PDF), quadrangle maps at 1:24,000 scale (PDF files), GIS data layers (ArcGIS shapefiles), metadata for the GIS layers, scanned topographic base maps (TIF), and a readme.txt file.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Surficial geologic map of the Mount Grace-Ashburnham-Monson-Webster 24-quadrangle area in central Massachusetts
U.S. Geological Survey
Eastern Geology and Paleoclimate Science Center
Report: iv, 19 p.; Downloads Directory; 24K_GRAPHICS Directory; Zip File